Monday, August 11, 2014

that day

It was the only time she sat next to me on the bus. Sunny September day at the beginning of 8th grade, we recently got assigned next to each other in reading class, but still, she plops next to me that day and declares that we are "going together" in that patronizing tone girls use, like I'm some toddler. She digs a note out of her things and reads it through, as I try to gather my wits - she mutters a couple broken comments at the paper then puts it away.

At some point I feel a bony arm slip around my shoulders and one of the nearby dudes cheeses, "So you two are LOVERS? Awwww..." 

Far as I knew she was seeing a fellow in the class behind us these days. Girls at my school had a gift for clever sarcasm, made it an art really, was sweet pain to fall prey to their wiles. She and an accomplice liked to talk me out of my lunch cakes.

For some reason I tell her about a weird dream I had recently about a classmate of ours and she just kinda rocks back and forth and gives me funny looks as I relate. 

Thankfully I'm the first stop, time to try and process this, usually crash on my bed but too fidgety. Sheets are due for changing so I tear that down, and in the middle of it start to struggle with my motivation, why am I doing THIS, now, in a quasi-relationship with this girl and her pesky powers, but finish the task nevertheless.

When the weather is this nice there's a bike ride after supper, and even back then, in that reading class I had written papers about bike rides, it's a thing. I lived on a decommissioned highway that formed a 2.5 mile triangle with two grid roads. 

She lives on the north-south leg. I head northeast, instinctively, pining for answers.

Social awkwardness can be a prison but sometimes you get a surprise visitor with the file in a cake. Never ended up dating anyone from school, the swift river, until after graduation, made most of my connections through church, the small pond. I'm not much of a swimmer.

Right on cue she stands near the road with a basketball and some younger kids. I seem invited to stop three feet away and touch my feet down, and without missing a beat she informs me in that patronizing tone,

"We're going to have to break up, A---- won't like it very much..."

"That's okay."

Not sure what else was said, we never know what to say to each other, but when it felt time to ride on, for whatever reason, I really needed to gently squeeze her right shoulder. 

Now, I had taken over my brother's '72 Schwinn that he'd bought from my sister's 6'2 husband, here I am a string bean 5'8 by then. I had to hop off the seat to straddle the thing, and leaning in took some effort, hopping on one foot, especially when the girl demures.

Little miss don't mess with me you ballentine jerk, I'm bad ass, I'll hurt you, by most accounts should have me in a full nelson by now, but no, totally shies away - but never looks away. Same piercing eyes that taunted earlier are now those of a wistful puppy.

Turns out the tough chick ain't so tough after all.

Got home and put the bike away, sit on the couch, Mom asks me why I'm grinning, staring off at a wall, took me that long to realize there were trees nearby where we'd stood.

To this day, nearly three decades later I still struggle with it - why was the punk brat so much easier for me to face than the very lovely, sweet, tender girl within, one of the best things that will ever happen to a person.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


"Most relationships end because one party requires way too much attention."

Thursday, July 31, 2014

smarty pants

Having vivid dreams this week, and last night...well, it was one of those where I walk around in various public scenes, folks come and go, some familiar most are not. But then a couple of the young ladies wandering about are sporting flesh-colored stretch pants, which tug at the eye naturally, nothing new there, except...

There's something dangling from the "fork". In between, shall we say, sewn out of the same cloth but with stitching or other markings...well lets just say it, it's a mockup of a man's stuff. In other words, junk. Cartoonish twig and berries. Big enough to notice but small enough to poke fun, kinda in the vein (forgive me) of some fad doll, perhaps with an adorable winking face on the "head".

After awaking with a smirk it occurred to me that a couple nights ago I happened to catch a comedy special by Melanie Comarcho, very funny lady, check her out. Those familiar with her act might see the connection, as she has a gift for unabashed delivery and not afraid to poke fun at perceived (or actual...) male inadequacies. 

In the dream I was slightly put off, at first, by the sight of these pants, but that would be the idea wouldn't it? 

It'll happen at some point, some cheeky craftsperson will make a few sizes for her friends, and pretty soon they'll have an underground appeal, showing up between a nice top and high heels at parties and clubs, "hey where the hell did you find THOSE?" Then onto more mainstream settings and into the pixelated headlines.

And I'm sure this has already happened as a costume, just not as a fashion statement, which is all well and good, society evolves as it will, just remember where you heard it first and Paypal will be fine for royalties :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sunday, July 27, 2014

an haiku

decaf coffee

it goes down easy

just like your mom

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

the song

there is a 

there is a 

sometimes all
he wants to do
is play
a song


she just
to be 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Good Times

Today I caught this classic 70s sitcom and happened to notice this particular episode originally aired 40 years ago to the date. This also means it's one of the very first, in it's intended form and fervor, the one where Florida gets a chance to be in a TV commercial. As I understand it, John Amos would leave the show a year later due to the direction the producers were taking, a sentiment eventually shared by Esther Rolle a couple seasons later. Network suits in all their wisdom, at least in that era, couldn't leave things be for long and would tweak even high-rated shows in an effort to engineer their appeal. They wanted more of Jimmy Walker's breakout appeal in place of substance, so, something had to give, and what could have been a few solid seasons turn hit and miss. But in the initial run we have a treat, this superbly cast working-class Evans family in the Chicago projects, they balance each other so well - Michael, Thelma, J.J., Florida and James Sr. Everyone has their place, they're heartfelt, touching, and especially, VERY funny.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

ol' suse

all day
from dusk to dawn
they roam the fields
turning and plowing
all season long
a man
and his mule
he feeds the beast
gives it water
nurses it when sick
and calls it 
ol' suse
which happens to be
the name
of his sister
when the mule
does something 
or does not do
what is required
he smacks it
on the nose