Thursday, December 4, 2008

Part 7 of Therese story

He had been right. The car almost did drive itself. It buckled her saet belt for her. It told her exactly what to do and when to do it. It even opened the door and unlocked her seat belt for her. As she got out of the car, she began to feel lightheaded. ‘Crap,’ she thought, ‘he had been right about the drug too. God, I hope I make it.’ She tossed the keys and money at the attendant and didn’t bother to notice them missing their mark. ‘I feel like I could fall over any second,’ she thought, “I don’t have time to talk.’ She entered the building not hearing the attendant say he would take care of her car (which he did) nor did she notice him shaking his head side to side muttering under his breath about how it was sad that she was always getting herself messed up this way, night after night.
Therese was busy with other things, like trying to get one foot to go after another. Somehow she managed to get to the front desk and using it for support, she tried to make her mouth form words.
“Lost key room my,” she slurred, “need bed go.” She was stunned as how awful she sounded.
The night clerk’s name was Judy. She had seen her coming. In fact, she had seen this scene quite often in the last month and knew what to do. Judy quickly went to the other side of the counter and turned her inebriated guest toward the proper elevator. She, then followed behind Therese, picking her up several times after she fell, letting her continue on her own, respectfully maintaining her distance behind her. ‘It must be rough to be rich,’ Judy thought.
When she reached the elevator, Therese leaned against the doors and fell inside when they opened. She did not have the strength to pick herself up anymore. Judy picked her up again and leaned her against the wall near the bank of floor buttons.
“Whav for,” asked Therese vision blurring,”whwhch dor.”
“Don’t worry Ms. desAntos. There is only one room on your floor.” Judy put the key into the special lock next to the button marked ‘Penthouse’, turned it and pressed the button.
When the elevator moved upward, Therese began to slide down the wall toward the floor. Judy caught her and held her up until they reached their destination. The doors opened and Judy asked if she could put her to bed.
What Therese wanted to say was ‘No, thank you for asking. Its not necessary.’ but what came out was: “Nnnnnnnnnnnnnoooooooooo.”
Judy propped her up one last time, helped her step out of the elevator, thought about walking her to the bed, remembered what happened to the last clerk who did that, and stepped back into the elevator, pressed Lobby, watched the doors close and then exhaled. “It just doesn’t get easier watching her do this to herself..” she said.
Back in the penthouse, Therese was mustering all her remaining strength using furniture to give her support. Her vision was almost useless now as the scenes she was seeing kept sliding back and forth. “Have to make it to the bed.’ she thought, ‘have to make it to the bed.’ She made it passed the first room into a hallway and slowly made it down the hallway using the walls as leverage. Her legs were as rigid as cooked spagetti and her arms were loosing their strength rapidly. When she looked in the first room down the hallway, she saw a bed. ‘I made it,’ she thought. ‘I made it.’ At that point, Therese’s last once of willpower gave out. She collapsed on the floor. ‘ I am jello,’ was her last thought but her last sensation was of being carried to the bed and laid down upon it.
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Therese was the best dressed woman here at the ball, the belle. All the men, were circled around her, each wanting to dance with her. She giggled with coquettish delight as man after man told her how beautiful she was and how happy they could make her. Some even proposed their hands in marriage. Then suddenly, the mood changed and the men parted, allowing entrance to a tall dark stranger. He wore a white costume mask depicting two faces side by side, happy and sad. Saying nothing, he began to dance with her.
Therese felt excited to be in his arms flowing across the floor. They were the olny dancers. He pulled her into a swoon and barely lifting his mask, he kissed her. She felt intoxicated with love. They dance on. As she looked at a group of women, she noticed him, her beloved, standing amongst them.. He noticed her and pointed to her dress. She looked down and saw the spot, the black spot, had gotten larger.
“You better take care of that soon or your dress will be ruined.” he said.
“I will.” she promised but for now she content to keep dancing. Again, he pulled into a swoon and this time he kissed her several times on the neck. A feeling of rapture went through her. She could scarely wait for the next swoon. They danced on and she noticed no one remained, just the two of them. He pulled her into another swoon and her heart was beating with excitement as he picked her up in his arms and carried her to the bed. He laid her there and leaned to kiss her on her neck again. Then he bit her.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Part 6 of Therese story

“Is that you, Teresa, my little sister ? He did not wait for her to answer. “It is,” he proclaimed as he reached down and plucked her from her chair. lifting her feet off the ground. He huggedl her to his chest and swayed side to side. He lifted her to his face level and kissed her on the forehead. The sight of him had brought forth conflicting feelings of terror and love to Therese. When she first realized who his funny looking man was, she was ready to run but now here in his arms she felt a strange emotion: safe. She wanted to hug him back and to kiss him and to even roll around on the floor with him and yet when he kissed her, she felt an oddness about him. Was he always this tall ?
“I was so worried about you. You have been gone all day but now you are back.”
He set her down back on her feet. “You should not worry your brother so much.” He turned to the young men still seated at the table. “How can I thank you young men for bringing me back my little baby sister.” He reached into his coat pocket and produced an incredible roll of one hundred dollar bills. He peeled off ten and dropped them onto the table. The young men were aghast. They had never seen so much money.
“This,” he said “is a small token of my appreciation.” He kissed them on the top of their heads. “Thank you, thank you.” He peeled off one more hundred and said, “This is for the food. Tell the waiter he can keep the change.” He put the bankroll back into his pocket, then his took off his coat and put it on Therese. It almost dragged on the floor.
“Baby sister,” he cooed, “you should not go outside without a proper coat. You’ll catch your death.” He grabbed her by the hand and walked her out the door. The whole time Therese and the T & T boys were speechless. It was Jack who broke the silence by exclaiming after they had left, “A ninety dollar tip. Maybe this night won’t be a total waste afterall.”

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He walked her to a red two seater convertable (top up of course) which was parked at the curb not too far from the restaurant. The car looked very expensive. She took this opportunity to pull her hand free from him and summoning up all her strength, she punched him in the face.
“You left me there to die !” she screamed. “You left me there to die.”
He rubbed his jaw. “You don’t have time for that now. I’ll let you punch me all you want later. Right now you have to get back to your hotel fast. Your little friends have poisoned you with a large dose of date rape drug. If you didn’t have your superior body, you would be a pile of jello right now. As it is, you have at most ten minutes to get back to your room and in bed before you pass out.”
He grabbed her hand and pulled her to the driver’s side of the car, opened the door and gently pushed her in. He shut the door and put a key in the ignition.
“Before you start the car, listent carefully. Your name is Teresa desAntos. It was as close to your real name as I could get. Your IDs are in that pink clutch purse on the passenger’s seat. You are currently staying in the hotel Avalon which lucky for you is about two blocks from here. When you start the car, the car will ask you where you are going. You say home. It will tell you how to get there. When you get to the hotel park in front. Get out, give your keys to the doorman wrapped in a hundred dollar bill. Tell him to take care of it. The money is in your coat pocket. Walk to the front desk and tell them you have lost your room key. They will know who you are. They will show you how to get to your room. Under no circumstances, should you allow them to take you into your room. You must be alone. And this is the most important part, do not under any circumstances take off your clothes. You must stay in these clothes tonight, no matter what. I will talk to you tomorrow. Stay in your room until then and don’t let anyone in - not even the maid.” He leaned over and kissed her. “Now go.” he commanded as he turned the key for her. The car started immediately.
“But I haven’t driven a car in over a decade,” she protested.
“Not really a problem,” he countered as began to cross the street, “that car could almost drives itself.”
As she tried to think of what to do next the car asked her in a sweet feminine voice, “Ms. Teresa, where would you like me to take you.”
“Home.” she sighed. “I really want to go home.”

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Part 5 of Therese Story

Parts 1 through 4 are below in earlier posts
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There was ball going on, with all the young women dressed in lush and plush gowns which flaunted cleavage and curves. All the men were dashing, in fine tuxedos and tails. Therese, felt radiant in a white sheer gauzy strapless gown that showed off all her assets. She stood alone on the edge of the dance floor, waiting, and then he was there, in front of her, asking her to dance.
It was heaven to be in his arms, whirling and swirling across the floor. She wanted to be there forever. He stopped and looked at her and laughed. He pointed to her dress and she was startled to see a small black spot right below her breast. He laughed again and told her not to worry, it would come out. She’d ’just have scrub hard. She started to cry and he held her tight.
“I’ve missed you so much,” she sobbed into his shoulder. Then they began to dance again, but this time he began to change. With each turn, he began to fade and as he faded, something else began to appear. It was a full length mirror with his image in it. And as the dance continued, his image faded also, replaced by her own reflection. And as she looked at herself in the mirror, she noticed something behind her, something very dark and it was reaching for her neck. And when she felt the touch of a hand on her own neck, she screamed and the mirror shattered.
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Someone was kissing her and pushing on her breast. In one motion, she raised her arms and pushed this unwelcome stranger off of her. When he was clear of her, she leaped to her feet and assumed a fighting stance.
“Whoa there, chickie baby,” the man said, “I was trying to save your life. You weren’t breathing.” He held his open palms out in front of her as a symbol of ‘stop, I don’t want to fight’.
“Well she is now,” laughed a voice from behind Therese, “I told you she wasn’t dead.”
Therese turned around and saw a young man, perhaps 20ish, leaning against an alley wall. He was good looking, well dressed but slightly dishevled as if he had been partying all night (which he had). He looked at her and extended his hand. “Hi, I’m Tim. And that there is Tom.” He pointed to the other young man. “We are,” he said proudly, “the T & T boys.” They both laughed. Therese did not know what to make of them. She wanted to scan them with her magic eyes but her eyes did not seem to work, at least the scanning part did not. She could still see clearly.
“I’m sorry to say this babe,” continued Tim, “but you look horrible. You must have been doing some vicious drugs.” He stretched and yawned. “I tell you what, we were about to get some Java to mellow our buzz so why don’t you tag along and get some chow. There is an all night place about a block from here and they have been known to serve a pretty mean bowl of soup. You would like it.”
Therese tried to think of an excuse. “I don’t seem to have any money with me. I’m sorry.”
“Hey, no problem,” responded Tim, “It would be our treat. We’ll even call you a cab afterwards.”
“Okay,” she said hestitantly, “I guess it couldn’t hurt.”
“Now thats the spirit,” said Tim as he moved his arm behind her back and placed his hand upon her far shoulder. “Don’t worry. You couldn’t be safer than being between the T & T boys.” His friend appeared on her other side and and they walked three abreast down the street.
“What have I gotten myself into,” she thought.
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The walk was uneventful, but not boring. Tim filled the time by extolling ancedotes concerning the adventures the two friends had experienced this evening.
“And then just as we thought the night couldn’t get any weirder,” he said as they entered the restaurant, “we see you lying in the alley looking like you were dead.”
They sat themselves at a table in the middle of the floor. A waiter, also a twentyish young man, appeared instantly.
“Well, if it isn’t the terrible T & T boys.” he said. “And what do we have here ? Another pretty young girl with no brains ?” He spoke to Therese directly in a mock whisper. “Why don’t you ditch these two losers and hang out with me, a real man.” He flexed his arm and pointed to his biceps.
“Right,” responded Tom, “we’re the losers and who is waiting on whom ?”
The waiter punched Tom lightly in the shoulder. “Shut up.”
Tim interrupted by clearing his throat. “Let’s get down to business, Mr. Jack. The T & T boys will have our usual, large Cappuccinos with a shot of espresso. And our lady friend will have a large bowl of your extra special soup of the day.”
“Something to drink for the lady ?” asked Jack.
“Just water,” replied Therese quietly.
“Fine,” repeated Jack as he walked away, “one large ex specal shoop. and two cheapskates.”
“Shut up,” laughed Tom.
Not too much later, Jack appeared with a bowl of steaming hot soup and the drinks.
Therese began eating immediately, she couldn’t remember when she had been so hungry. The soup tasted great.
“Well, someone’s hungry,” mocked Tim as he sipped his beverage. Therese kept eating. She was nearly done when she noticed a man sitting at one of the nearby booths staring at her. He was clad in a large fur coat and had a maroon fedora on despite the fact it was not cold in the restuarant. She was about to say something to Tim about him when the strange man got up and walked over to their table.
“Is that you, Teresa, my little sister ?” said the man as he looked directly at her. His voice had a tone of uncertainty in it but she knew instantly who it was. It was HIM.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

part 4 of Therese Story

{note: I am over 7000 words now} {this is half of chapter 4 } by Frank Coughlin

Surprisingly, she kept her cool despite hearing the crackling of fire in the basement.
“This is it,’ she thought, ‘do or die time.’ She knew she had the answer and she knew it was not in her consciousness. Once again she imagined herself meditating and once again she was instantly in a state in a deep relaxed state. The image of her friend Diane stood in front of her.
‘What you want is through that door.’ Diane said as she pointed at a dark door behind her. Therese ran to the door and tried to open it but it did not budge. ‘You must open it with your desire, your will, your intent.’ Therese tried again but the door did not budge. She look back to her friend and asked: ‘What do I need to do ?’ A tone of desperation was creeping into her voice.
‘I already told you,’ Diane replied, ‘use your desire.’ Flames began to appear all around. Therese turned to the door and tried one more time. ‘God please,’ she screamed, ‘open this damn door.’ The door did not open. She pushed again, this time screaming ‘I want to live.’ The door opened.
She found herself standing in the kitchen, smoke was pouring up from the basement and it was hot, stiflingly hot. The air burned in her lungs.
‘Oh my god,’ she thought, ‘I ‘m alive. I am breathing.’ A wave of happiness washed over her. Then she saw the table and her body still laying on it.
‘The knife,’she said, ‘I have to pull out the knife.’ She rushed over to the body, grabbed the knife and for some strange reason, she looked into the body’s eyes. She gasped. They were empty. And then . . .
She found herself back in her body, looking out at an empty kitchen still unable to move. She pictured herself meditating again and instantly found herself looking at a now open door. A voice from behind her said: ‘Whatever you do, don’t look at your own eyes again. If you do you will surely die.’ She did not recognize the voice but she did not care to find out who said those words. She just wanted to live.
Again she went through the door. Again she found herself in the kitchen, staring at the body on the table. Flames were coming through the door to the basement. The heat was unbearable. She grabbed for knife and screamed as it burned her hands. She could not pull it out. The knife was too hot to hold. She was too late.
At that point, she panicked. She ran through the kitchen door into the parlor. The whole house was full of smoke and parts of the floor were on fire. She ran to the front door, turned the knob and pushed her way to freedom. The cold night air shocked her system back into thinking. She thought about going back in and looked through the doorway at the parlor. The kitchen was engulfed in flames. and the furniture was starting to burn. It was too late.
At that moment a curious thing happened. Therese’s consciousness split into three parts. In one part, she felt herself lying on the kitchen table, her body convulsing vainly fighting to keep from burning. He had been wrong. She did feel the pain of burning and it was horrible.
In the second part, she was standing in the doorway of the house’s front door looking in at the burning parlor and feeling helpless.
And in the third part, she was inside of herself, somewhere looking at both scenes, the kitchen and the doorway.
‘You have to choose,’ a voice from behind her said, ‘which will it be ?’
She wanted to turn around and face this voice but she found herself unable to move. This mysterious voice was the same voice that had told her not to look into her own eyes. It was not his voice. This voice was much colder sounding as if it came from something not human.
‘You must choose now.’ The voice demanded. ‘Life or death.’
‘I choose life,’ she whispered. Her voice was raw from inhaling smoke. She was standing in the doorway watching the house burn in front of her. She was alive and she was in shock.
She ran from the house silently, not looking back, not even when she heard the first explosion. Not long after that fire engines came screaming down the street, one after another, blaring their horns and flashing their lights. She kept running. She did not want to be found. She did not want to be seen. Her magic eyes helped her navigate in the moonless night and she kept whispering to herself a single phrase over and over - ‘I choose life ’.
Somewhere, miles later, she stopped, both running and talking. And fainted.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Part 3 of the Therese Sacry story

(part two of this story is the post below this one.)

He caught her as she went slack and gently laid her on the table. The dagger had gone so deep into her heart and beyond that the tip was now sticking out some half a dozen inches beyond her back and yet there was no blood on it. Therese felt no pain, in fact, she felt nothing. He kissed her on her forehead and closed her eyes.

“As you can tell by now, my dear Therese, you are not dead.” he said out loud. “The Toliver is a mystical blade and does not kill or wound you but it does render its victim inert, that is to say, awake, conscious, but completely devoid of all bodily functions. If I was to take this blade out of you, you would become alive again and there would be no marks or cuts on your body. Your body would be back to normal again. “ He opened her eyes again and turned her head so she could look at him. He unbuttoned his shirt and opened it, exposing his chest. “See, no scars or scabs. You may not know it but you are not breathing. This is why you thought I was dead all those years ago.Now you know, I was not. You could have easily finished the job then but I am glad you did not. If you had, this night would not be possible.” He smiled an evil smile and closed her eyes again, gently turning her head back to its original position. He left the room and came back with a small pillow which he placed under her head. He then noticed that the blade had slid upwards halfway out of her chest.

“Oh, no no no. Can’t have that.” he mumbled to himself. He went to a cabinet and produced a small sledgehammer. “Knifey has to stay in you.” He began to hammer the knife back down. Since it was already poking out Therese’s back, his pounding pushed it into the table itself.
‘He is nailing me to the table.’ thought Therese, ‘I wonder why.’ She was alive and in no pain but neither could she move nor could she fall asleep. ‘So this is how I left him. He must have hated me for years.’ She could not even feel the blade push through her as he hammered the hilt to her chest. He pulled on it to see if it would budge and it did not.

“One last whack for good luck,” he said as he hit the dagger harder than he had done so previously. Therese felt the hilt push her ribs up against her heart.

“And you are going to need all the luck you can get.”

Therese heard him walk down the stairs to the basement where he stayed for about five minutes. She then heard him walk back up.

“Wow, you sure brought a lot of incendiaries.You weren’t taking any chances were you ?” He sat down and opened her eyes. He turned her face so that she could see him again. “I know what you are going through right now, but forget about all that stuff. You need to listen to me and remember everything.”

“In about an hour, your little devices will go off. I added a little gasoline to get things spread right so this old house will go right up. Nothing will stop it.” He stood up and glanced directly into her eyes. “By that time I will be long gone. There will be no one one here to help you.. You might be wondering why I pounded you to the table. There are two reasons. If there is an explosion and there is a good chance there will be, I don’t want you bouncing around the kitchen. Also on the odd chance that someone does come in to rescue you, they will not be able to pull that knife out. The table is bolted to the floor so this is where you will remain until the flames comsume you. Your body is pretty near indestructible but after an hour or two of intense heat it will break down. You, however, will feel no pain. So I’d say you have about three hours max to free yourself. Good Luck.”

He turned to walk away and got almost as far as the kitchen door and then turned around and smacked himself in the forehead with the palm of his hand.
“Oh, I almost forgot. I need to give you some knowledge. “ He seemed to reach into his forehead and pulled out a small green pyramid. He took the pyramid and placed on her forehead. She felt a slight burning sensation as she watched it dissolve into her head. “It is Wyrd knowledge. It only makes itself available when you need it. I have also written how to escape on the back of your pillow. That’s in case you get stuck and need a cheat sheet. Stay calm..” He bent down and kissed her. “Gotta go. Bye my love.”

He turned and walked away. This time, Therese heard the kitchen door swing open and shut, followed not too long afterward by the sound of the big massive front door opening and shutting and then there was silence. At that point, Therese knew she was alone.

‘Good,’ thought Therese, ‘now I can finally work at getting free.’
This was false bravado. She didn’t dare attempt even thinking about escape while he was around for fear that he could read her mind. Now she was rid of him and could start thinking about escaping. But first she had to deal with the panic she was feeling. She was never more scared in her life, not even when she was trapped in his magic snare earlier that evening. ‘This is his revenge,’ she thought, ‘he made me young so I would suffer longer.’ If she could breathe, her breath would have been frozen inside of her; if her heart could beat, it would be beating a mile a minute. ‘Hours,’ she thought, ‘I will be burning for hours.’ She had no doubt that he told her the truth about the fire. ‘He’s that way. He will only tell you enough to increase your sense of terror.’ She had no doubt that the fire would start in one hour since that was the setting she herself had put on the incendary devices. The idea that he added gasoline meant he wanted the fire to spread fast, faster than she would have done.

‘Why ,’ she pondered, ‘does he want to kill me fast ?’ That question knawed at her and gave her hope. ‘Maybe, he does not want me to suffer at all. Maybe he wants to kill me as fast as possible, so I won’t figure out how he got out of this situation.’ Hope began to spring up inside of her like wildfire. She began to consider her situation and what she knew about it. He had been in this exact same situation and escaped despite the fact no one ever came to help him. So there was a way out. There would be no help coming for her, since she had told no one about her plans to burn the house and this would be the last place anyone would look for her, if they were looking at all. Besides, they would not miss her for at least another day, let alone go looking for her. No, she would have to do this on her own.

She remembered how he was long ago, how he was always testing her, giving her tasks to do with no instructions, not caring if she succeeded or failed. ‘Oh my God,’ she thought, ‘That’s it ! He is not trying to kill me - he is testing me !‘ Now, hope stood as the victor over panic and despair. ‘There is a way out and he wants me to find it !’

A flood of memories came back to her.
“The ultimate test always deals with life or death.” His words came back to her. He was telling her about how a sorcerer teaches his apprentice. “The teacher sets up the lesson this way in order eliminate hemming and hawing, to leave no room for anything other than success since the greatest motivation humans have is to keep living. Failure means death. “ She had thought his words absurd at the time. ‘If anybody puts me in a life or death situation,’ she had said at the time, ‘they had better run because I will succeed and then I will come after them.” He laughed and told her: ‘Don’t worry, I would never do that to you. You couldn’t handle it.’ Those words had cut her like a dagger. It was then that she began to doubt her relationship with him.

‘God, how time changes things,’ she mused, ‘and yet does not. He did not think I was ready then but does now. Back then, I had fire in my veins. It was called youth. Nobody could show or tell me anything, not even him. I was in love with him; madly, wildly in love, and I would have done anything he told me to. And then he told me I was not ready, that I was not good enough for him and my love turned swiftly into hate. It wasn’t long after that I stabbed him in the back when he was most vulnerable. I stabbed him in the back with that damn dagger, the very same one that now holds me down . He trusted me and I stabbed him in the back and I loved doing it. ’

She stopped for a second and sobbed a spiritual sob since her body could not and would not cry. ‘How could I have done that to the man I loved ? How could I have been so cruel and thoughtless ?,’ she thought, ‘How could he ever forgive me ?’

It was was the thought of him that brought her out of her feelings of remorse. ‘The test,’ she thought, ‘I have to focus on the test. There is no time now for this sentimental crap.’ She laughed. Those, of course, were his words. She could see the wisdom in them now. She would focus on the task at hand. She knew she had the answer inside of her. He had gone out of his way to take away any possible physical means of her escape - that was why he pounded the knife into the table. That was why he told her the table was bolted to the floor, she realized, to prevent her from wasting time trying to think of a physical means of escape.

‘You gotta love him,’ she gushed, ‘he is efficient. He used my own devices against me and the very knife I had betrayed him with. I’ll bet he made up this whole plot on the spot. What a genius.” She stopped herself again. ‘Oh God,’ she thought, ‘I’m falling in love with him again. I got to stop wasting my time on this sentimental crap.’

She tried to think of what to do next but she couldn’t come up with anything. Nothing made sense. She thought of her old yoga buddy Diane, who never seemed to be without a plan or an idea. What would Diane do ? What did Diane always say to do ? She pictured the image of Diane sitting cross-legged in front of her mind’s eye. The words came to her instantly: ‘Don’t hesitate, just meditate. The idea will find you. You just have to make yourself available and willing. And you have to WANT it.’

‘No problem there, ‘ Therese thought, ‘ I’ve never wanted anything more in my life.’ Therese pictured herself in a meditation pose, breathing the yoga breath and instantly she found herself in a deep relaxed state of mind. It seems that not having to deal with a physical body made this process much easier. Another thing to thank him for. At that moment, he appeared in front of her.

‘The answer you seek is in there. ‘ He pointed to a swirling black patch just beyond him. ‘If you don’t believe me, ask her.’ He pointed to a mirror which held Therese’s own reflection.
‘Trust your heart,’ the mirror-Therese said, ‘the answer lies in the void.’

‘The void, of course,’ the real Therese sighed, ‘the answer is in the last place I want to go now.’

‘The void is the place of nothing, absolute nothing. It is not a place really or even an empty place because both places are something. The void is nothing. And as such it is the birthplace of creation, where all ideas come from. All creativity comes from the void. All potential things exist with no substance in the void.’ The words of her yoga teacher echoed in front of her. ‘It is a wonderous place you can visit anytime, the only catch is you can’t take your ego or your consciousness with you. And it is a place without time, so you could spend days there without even knowing it.’

‘But I don’t have days, just minutes, ‘ thought Therese, ‘and I don’t have bodily functions to yank myself out automatically. I could go in there and never come out. Trouble is, I have no other choice.’ So she gathered herself as best she could and dove into the dark swirling mass.

When she became conscious again, she was instantly aware of the smell of smoke.
(end of part 3)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Part two of Therese and the hanted house

(part one of this story is several posts below. The story so far concerns an old lady who goes into a haunted house to burn it down. She gets caught in a magical spell set by her former lover who she thought was dead. He mocks her and then turns her into a young woman of approximately twenty years old. Part two starts at that moment when she realizes she is young.)

Therese was in shock. She kept gazing at different parts of her body such as her hands and her hair, testing to see this was what she truly had become - young. She pushed up her sleeve, lifted her pants leg, felt her back. All evidence of her former aged body, the wrinkles, sagging skin, the aches . . . were nowhere to be found. Slowly, she stared at him and forced words to come out.
“Wh, wh ah ah y,” she said, “Why did you do this to me.”
He just sat there and laughed a mocking laugh. “Who cares why ? Aren’t you happy? You no longer have to be a shriveled up old hag waiting for death. Now you can live again.” He stood up and waved both hands wide. “The whole world is yours now. This is your new life.”
“But why are you doing this to me? I was quite content with my life. I was ready to die.”
“Were you ,” he countered, “were you really ? And why did you come here tonight. Why now, after all these years ? “ He paced back and forth in front of her. “I’ll tell you why. You came to make sure that you had killed me. You were going to burn the house down after you looked in on me, after you had made sure once and for all that I was dead.” He paced some more. “I’ll bet you hoped my body was decayed beyond recognition, nothing left but dust and bones. I’m sorry to disappoint you, my love, but I am still very much alive, maybe even more so than when you knew me.” He went back to the table and sat down.
“I suppose you are due an explanation.” he gestured to the chair beside him. “Don’t worry I don’t bite - at least not anymore.” She sat down.
“I’ll start either with what happened to me or what I just did to you. You pick.”
“What did you do to me, how did you do it ?” she said barely above a whisper, “Tell me.”
She had thought about running but she knew that was useless, he would have caught her in a heartbeat or she would have been trapped in another snare. He was like that - he had plans on top of plans. She was still trapped despite being able to move around and she knew there was no escape. Whatever revenge he had planned, he would get. Her spirit sagged with hopelessness.
“Contrary to what you might be thinking, dear one,” he said looking into her eyes, “I am not getting revenge on you. Not now, not ever.” He waited for those words to sink in.
“I made you young so you could live another life, one better than this last one which I messed up for you. What you did to me, I can never repay you for, because you see you gave me a new life - a better life.
“Oh I admit for a long while I wanted revenge on you but that was impossible. I was stuck here, stuck with myself and there was nothing I could do about anything. All I had was me so eventually I got around to looking at myself. And what I saw I did not like.”
“But what did you do to me ?” she asked as tears welled up in her eyes. “WHY” she whined. She wanted to beat on him. She wanted to hit him as hard as she could but all she was able to do was cry. He watched her sobbing and sniffling and waited for her to stop.
“Because I love you, Therese dela Santos. I have always loved you even when I wanted you dead.” He took a deep breath. “As for what I did to you - that was merely some human alchemy. I guess you could say I re-arranged you, made you what you were supposed to be.”
“You are probably feeling in better health than you ever did. I did that once before to you, when I rearranged your eyes. Do you remember that ? You loved it at the time. All the wonderful new things you could do - see in the dark, have perfect vision, the ability to focus on far away objects . What happened ?”
“I started to seeing into people, seeing what they thought, seeing what they thought of me.” she answered, “I hated it. I hated you. I wanted to be normal, ordinary again but you were never going to let me be that way. I had to become the perfect woman for you.. I couldn’t take it anymore - that is why I did what I did.” She began to cry again.
“Well, no harm no foul. “ he laughed. “As you can see I am better than I ever was and I owe it all to you. You never killed me, this body can’t be killed that that way. I found that out when you stabbed that knife in my back. The alchemy I just did on you I did on myself, that very day. I guess I was still weak from the transformation, otherwise you would have never got close enough to me to do what you did. I can tell you from experience, your new body ages very slowly. You could easily live to be two hundred.” She held up her hand to stop him.
“What are you going to do to me now ?” It took all her courage to speak those words, her hands were shaking.
“Nothing,” he answered, “nothing at all. You can walk out of this house now and be on your way.” She got up immediately to test his words, but he did nothing as she walked to the kitchen door.
“One thing before you go,” he said as she pushed the door open. She waited. “Have you give any thought to what you are going to do next ? I mean, look at you, no one knows who you are.”
“Oh, they know me alright. I ‘ve lived here for decades on this block. I’m grand-Grammy . . .” His words sunk into her brain. Look at you. No one knows you. Oh, my God. she realized, they wouldn’t know her, would they, she had the same clothes, she probably sounded the same, but would it be possible that they would know her ?
“I know what you are thinking,” he said, “you’re thinking these people would see the real you in such a young woman. You’re thinking you could someone to believe you. I hate to break it
to you but they wouldn’t. Too hard to be believed. You think you could convince someone because you know everything about grand-Grammy, where everything is in her house but the truth is your neighbors would call the cops on you in an instant. There is an intruder in her house, they would say. You underestimate how long you have made the impression of an old woman in their minds - they could never accept you as this young thing. You must be some sort of stalker, some demented young woman who wants to be great-Grammy, that must be why you are in her clothes. The next thing they will ask is where did you put the body of the old woman. If you don’t get locked up in jail, you sure as hell will be locked up, doped up and chained up in the psych ward. But don’t believe me, go ahead and find out for yourself.”
She sighed another sigh of hopelessness. He was right. She was at his mercy. There was nowhere else for her now. She went back to the table and sat down.
“Okay,” she said, “what happens next.”
“Well this is more like it.” he said smiling his Cheshire cat smile again. “I need you to commit to one day a month with me, the rest of the time is yours to do what you see fit. I’ll give you a new identity and enough money to get you going. I need to show you how your new body works. It will take time for you to get adjusted so be patient with yourself. If you are good at it and I have no doubt that you will be, the whole process should take six to seven months tops. Are you ready to commit?”
“Yeah sure,” she said half-heartedly, she knew enough not to trust him but he was her only hope right now. As for his story of one day a month, she simply did not believe it.
He got up and went to a drawer. He pulled out a box and shut the drawer. He dropped the box in front of her. “This is for you.”
She opened the box and gasped.
“Its called the Toliver,” he said. “Take it out.” He did not have to tell her its name, she already knew. The long dagger with the emeralds on the hilt. The long dagger she had stabbed him with all those years ago. “Take it out.” he shouted, “this is your first test.”
“I don’t want to touch it.” she protested and slid the box along the table to him.
“Then I am truly sorry.” he said sadly, “but karma must be paid.”
With blinding speed, he grabbed the knife and crossed the gap between them. Therese could not even blink before she felt the dagger plunge into her heart.
(end of chapter two)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gathering what I have written into one big messy XMAS NOVEL

In the computer programming world, there is a saying "Don't reinvent the wheel." which means if there is a program out there that works good already use it in your program rather than writing your own version (which you would have to test too). Computer geeks are if nothing else sensible about not wasting time and effort. Of course, this saying came from the time when computer programmers actually lived in the USA - nowadays these jobs are farmed out to India where the geeks there are willing to reinvent the wheel.
But the point is the above noted saying is particularly useful in writing the Xmas Novel. I will demonstrate using my stories as examples.
I have a story in which two people are traveling in a car out West. Driving in the plains states is boring to the point of coma inducing. So the the two people can tell stories to each other, such as the woman and the haunted house which I wrote earlier and other such stories can be worked into the body of the main story - it might not get published but such a technique was used in "The World According to Garp" which was a bestseller and the main character was a writer.

So I am now in the process of sorting through my previously written stories and picking ones I like and seeing how they can be woven together. I compare this process with decorating a Xmas tree. You bring out your old ornaments, incorporate some new faddish lights and add some other stuff simply because the old ones don't work anymore.
I figure my new Xmas Novel to be about 20,000 words or so but I have not gotten it all together yet so I am still working on it but since this is a good idea that will help in padding your Xmas novel, I thought that I would pass it on.
Keep writing, Frank

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Clearing Confusion, Confound It

There are a couple of points I want to make here. I am not sure if these points will clear up some confusion or confound things into even more chaos.

1) The two novel attempts are separate entities.
The attempt with Susan (bad name) Smith grew up out of a prayer (believe it or not) that I wrote yesterday. I think that I like the name Susan so I will keep that but I am looking for a short name that starts with 'S' because I also like the alliteration feel to her name. So until I hear a better name she will become Susan Short.
The attempt with the Therese in the haunted house grew from a 200 word story I wrote in class last week. I stopped that one because I felt it was too dark.
I might have to start something new because the last one is too strange. Oh Well.

2) The idea behind the Novel for Xmas is that you write 1500 words a day. Period - end of story - It does not have to be grammatically correct or make a whole lot of sense, It just has to be a lot of words, string together somewhat and FUN. thus we prove that we can write a novel, which is something we can say at cocktail parties during the holiday season.
For example:
Stuffy Person holding apple martini: So good to see you. What have you been doing ?
YOU: I'm putting the finishing touches on my new novel.
(Stuffy Person is impressed)

Snooty Relative: We bought all our kids Cadillacs and Harvard med. school gift cards. What did you get your kids ?
YOU: Personalized autographed copies of my new NOVEL. Signed and numbered.
(Snooty Relative is relatively impressed)

So start before it is too late. Write a novel before Xmas, simply by writing something everyday.
Lin has a great start. She could call hers - Chronicles of Lin (a story of Lion (okay, really a new cat), a witch (okay, really us haters) and a wardrobe (okay, Lin's wardrobe)) I am not sure if it has been done before but it sounds like a hit.
You could call yours (meaning you, Diane) My tuesday with Barak - Once again it sounds like a sure fire hit or bestseller or both.
So get cracking on your novel today.
We can exchange them at Xmas as gifts (to each other).

Lastly, the next post is a mistake I made by answering some question about making links to this page. See ya,
Frank, Taomaster of words and pages

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Spirit Journeys: Death of the Ego (or not)
My Spirit Journeys: Death of the Ego (or not)

Next attempt at novel writing

The last few years I have spent in a hermit like existence. The plus side is that I was able to be greatly introspective and this also allowed me to grow. I was able to shed a lot of baggage (metaphysical baggage) and I feel that this was a necessary step. I have been taking steps (some baby sized, others bigger) since. Lately, the last year and a half, I stepped out of my comfort zone and started teaching a class in creative writing.
Since I am the teacher, the class reflects me and my attitudes and biases and bents. There is a psychological nature to discussions because I believe that writing is all about story telling and story telling involves getting the insides out. And the process of getting the story out from inside yourself involves (for want of a better term) psychological processes. Still I have learned much about myself through the interactions with my wonderful and imaginative students. The greatest lesson being fun; the writing works much better when you are having fun.

The writing class has also been a superior way for me to meet my blocks in writing. I have found that I can write and I can write entertainingly. Now, comes the hard part, the part where I do something with my writings. Can I make my dreams happen ? I hope and I pray so. This is the part where the angels jump in, take my writings, and secretly send them to publishers and agents. Then they, the publishers and agents, come beating on my door with offers of money, sex and fame.

But the real goal of this essay is to start on my done-by-Xmas novel which is my start at making myself get out there and produce something that can be used as a wedge to get me into the world of book publishing. So here goes. I do not pretend this is my best writing but if it gets published, it will be.
I will start with the first thing any novel needs – the title. The last paragraph's last line gives me an idea. Sex, money, fame are realistically one thing: desires of the ego, things we think we need in this life. Illusions, perhaps, but an idea that I think that can make a good title.

Desires of the Ego

I think this is a good title but it needs some zing, some grabby tabloid upgrade. So I decide to make a new title because after all, this is the first thing the reader sees and this is the first attempt at hawking them. Come read my novel I want to say because there will be these things will be there and you will be entertained. So my next attempt at a title goes like this:

SEX, MONEY, FAME (Desires of the Ego)

I think this is a great title because, well, it has it all in terms of hooks. What more can there be besides money, sex, and fame? Uh oh, doubt has come into my mind and now I thinking (always a dangerous thing) I have to make a decision here. Do I want to go with my new title or do I want get rid of the scholarly sounding part in the parenthesis and go with a totally tabloid title? I decide to go with the tabloids (hey, Enquirer still makes money, you know). Now my title looks like this:

I am happy with this title, it has a catchy, grabby feel and it does not turn off Suzie Soccer Mom with scholarly subtitles.
Now I have to start with the actual story. I think I will start by making my main character female. I will call her Susan Smith for now until I think of something better. My story will be about the coming of age of Susan (Susie) Smith and how she learns that there is more to life than just the desires of the ego. But, of course, to make it entertaining she has to go through these processes, these phases of being dazzled by fame, sex, and money. I begin to think of a book I have just read "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert (which, by the way, is a fantastic book, well written and articulate, concerning a woman's journey to her soul. I think a sub-title could be My Year of Being Good to Myself). The reason I have thought of that book is because my book has a three word title too. Other than that there is not too much similarity in these two books. Granted, my main character is a woman and she will experience life in order to grow in spirit but she will do it by becoming absorbed into the world's of money, sex, and fame and she will have to rescue herself from these worlds somehow. But at least I have a vague plot and that is a start. The cynical part of me asks 'What do you know about money, sex and fame ?' and my honest answer is: next to nothing but that will be a challenge I am willing to take in order to get my novel done. I am of course talking about the research part of making the book, my attempt to find out about sex, money, and fame.

Sex. This seems to be the right place to start doing research. I will have to place Susie in a situation where sex is all around and where she realizes it is not what it is cracked up to be. I am thinking of a ski chalet because I have been in that situation but sadly, not in the wild sex party part. But it is a situation that I am somewhat familiar with. So here goes the start of the Sex section of my novel. (Note the actual story will be in italics).

I am nearly naked, lying face down in the snow and the thought comes to me: 'Am I having fun yet? ' The reason I am lying face down getting acquainted with the white stuff from the sky, the reason I am having trouble bouncing right back up and brushing the snow off my naked if not for panties body is two fold. One, I am drunk, having left sense and inhibitions (if I had any) far behind. Several (my word for having lost count) shots of watermelon and other sweet intoxicating concoctions have done that job for me. I am officially buzzed. This is the state I wanted to be in, the place where I thought I could finally let go of Jack, the heartbreaker, my former beau and current foe.
The second, and more profound reason, why I am not jumping right back up and rejoining the party is joy. I am feeling it here, in this fresh falling snow, and it touches all of my body, even my soul.
At this point, I have to interrupt and say that no, I have never been naked (or even nearly naked) lying face down in the snow. I have been in a drunken ski chalet party but alas I was not drunk and I did not want to be part of the party. One reason was I was already taken (by my wife who was with me) and another reason was that I was worn out by a full day of skiing. I did see on my way back to my chalet several scantily clad young girls running through the snow being chased playfully by scantily clad young men. They seemed to be quite intoxicated, having spent most of the day getting that way. Which might explain why they were not worn out. They were for the most part ten years or more younger than me and my little clique of old farts. We had come to ski, enjoy the snow, and sleep. The younger people had come for something else. So I am incorporating several of these young girls into my heroine, Susie. I am not wishing I was a girl or anything like that. I just think the story might be more interesting if the main character was female. I do not recommend this crossing gender lines for the beginning writer as it might lead to gender confusion and other interesting possibilities your counselor might like to explore, slowly and costly. But this explanation gets boring so I will go back to the story of Suzie in the snow.
Maybe, it was fate, sticking its leg out that made me fall face forward, and maybe some higher being helped out too. I mean I fell hard but I landed softly on freshly fallen snow. There was nothing for me to trip on except of course my own two feet. I was too drunk to feel scared about falling and too drunk to even think about it either. So I fell swiftly and in doing so I removed myself from the hedonists around me. It was as if I had been swallowed up by some snow monster, only my outline was visible to others and they were far too deep in debauchery to care.
So for several moments, I lay there alone in my white meditation room made of snow, reveling in the joy I felt. I was too drunk to think and in retrospect, I think that was a big reason I was able to feel this joy – I could not think of a reason not to. And that was why I came on this hedonistic adventure in the first place, to feel again, to stop thinking
about my failed relationships. Joy was not my goal but feeling good was.
d of part one

Thursday, November 13, 2008

start of my novel - untitld so far

Throughout the night, groups of revelers moved past the house. When they realized where they were, they stopped and became silent, then they shuffled quickly down the street, making minimal sound until safely out of range, at which point they rekindled their merriment. It was after all, a once in lifetime celebration.
Inside the house, all was dark. There once was life moving about in this place but that had been long ago. Now to anyone passing, the house was just a scary old rundown building, a ghost of a what it once had been.
Therese was the last living person to see the house in it’s glory. That was over eighty years ago. Now she was a great-grandmother, known as great-grammy to all the neighborhood kids. She stood on the porch of the house, in front of the huge solid oak door, for what she hoped would be the last time. She was tired, ‘age will do that to you’ some might say but in reality her weariness came from a different source. She was tired of carrying her secret.
She still had the key to the front door and even after all these years, she knew it would work, because she had tested it countless times over the years, each time turning the key in the lock, hearing it click open and each time that had been as far as she had gotten.
Tonight would be different. Tonight, no one would notice and after the flames had consumed this house, no one would ever know her secret.
She did not want to face what was inside but she knew this might be her last chance. It must be destroyed. She slowly pushed the door open just enough to allow her entrance and just enough to allow her to bring her pack in too.
She did not need a flashlight or any other light, she only needed to use her eyes, her special eyes, the ones he had given her. The thought of him made her shudder. Even after all these years, she was afraid of him, afraid of what he could do to her.
She would start in the basement and work her way up from there. There were stairs from the kitchen that led downward, she thought, that will be the best way. As she walked slowly through the parlor, the thought of him came back to her. ‘What if ‘, it seemed to say to her, but that was as far as she allowed it to go.
“Get out of my mind,” she hissed softly, “I will never go back to those ways.” She stopped before the kitchen door, took a deep breath, not for courage but rather to relax her and exhaled with a shudder as all her wind left her. She hoped her fear had left too.
As she pushed open the kitchen door, she realized her fear had not left. A rush of feelings smacked her in face and her hands began to shake. Something was wrong here, very wrong.
She froze in her tracks as if some unseen force held her in place. Her fear rose off the scale. Visibly trembling, she looked down at what she knew would be there. It was.
There was a trapping symbol etched on the floor so faint even her eyes had trouble seeing it. In fact, she would not have been able to see it except for its glow. That glow, she knew, signified it had been sprung. She also knew it was meant for only her, but that is not what frightened her the most. She knew only he could have set such a trap. And he was coming, footsteps creaking off the basement staircase told her so.
The basement door swung open and a figure appeared. It was him and he was smiling the Cheshire Cat smile.
“My, my,” he whispered, “look what I have caught. My long lost love. The one who betrayed me. I have waited a long time for this moment and I am going to savor it.” He pulled out a chair and sat down. He sat thoughtfully gazing at her, using his arm to prop up his chin.
“You bastard!” hissed Therese using all the strength she had to make a sound.
“I need to shed some light on this sorry site,” he said nonchalantly, “do you mind ?” He clapped his hand and a light on the ceiling turned on. “Do you like it ? I installed it myself. It runs on batteries and a sound sensor.And since the windows are shuttered tight, no one outside of this room can see the light.” He got up and walked over to the frozen figure of Therese.
“The neat thing about this trap spell is that not that it holds you tight. The neat thing is that it does not stop me at all.” He reached inside the circle and tapped Therese on the top of her head. “See.” Therese winced at his touch.
“Oh, don’t be like that,” he said in mock tones of concern, “I only want the best for you. Here let me take that off your back.” He grabbed her backpack and removed it from her. Surprisingly, he was able to move her arms even though she could not. He set the pack down on the floor besides his chair, then walked back to her.
“I am going to give you another gift. You won’t like it but it is for your own good.” He put his hand on her stomach and began to chant softly. Therese felt some energy entering her body. As it spread, Therese began to feel a fiery pain in her joints. Her body began to spasm and she fell to the floor, writhing and in agony. She screamed louder and longer than she ever had in her life. She laid on the floor convulsing like dying animal for an eternity, and then suddenly the pain stopped. She was surprised to find that she could move but that was not the biggest surprise she felt. She felt good, and not just good but better than she had felt in long time, in fact she felt better than she had ever felt.
“Look at your hands,” he commanded. She did and was astonished to see no wrinkles, or age spots or swollen joints. She was looking at the hands of a twenty year old. “Feel your face,” he said. She touched her brow, her cheeks; they were smooth, she pulled her hair in front of her eyes, it was blonde again.
“What. . .” she said hesitantly, “have you done to me ?”
“I have made you young again.” he replied.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Smoking coyote (old story)

“Last chance,” said Raven Bob stoically, “I don’t want to put bad ideas in your head but the insurance company tells me I have to let you know what you are getting into - one final time.” His voice was calm and unalarming even with the mention of that ominous word ‘final’. It was one of the two voices I had seen this bunch of Native Americans use. The other was the happy, playful, fun loving voice. That was the one to be wary of because you never knew what was coming next. One minute it is, ‘hey lets watch TV’, the next it is ‘let’s borrow Mac’s truck’ and finally it is ‘Wow, I didn’t think that truck would roll over so easily.’ The other voice, the stoic voice, calm as it was, could produce massive understatements. I once heard Raven Bob say “looks like bad weather” upon seeing the horizon fill up with funnel clouds. I guess there was no safe haven to be found in either voice.
I have to admit I was hoping to be a bit more relaxed at this point, but there is something about being shut tight in the earth that was disconcerting. There would be plenty of air but there would be no light. None. Not a speck, flicker, or twinkle. They say men have gone insane experiencing this total blackout, so why was I doing it and willingly at that ? The answer was either quite insane or logical, you get to pick. I would go with insane, myself.
This insane experience is last part of my Vusion Quest. What is a Vusion Quest? It is the trademarked copyrighted name that Raven Bob and his brother, Tim ‘Blind Gopher’ Johnson came up with. They wanted to call it Vision Quest but it was copyrighted and one of their tribal elders threatened to do bad things their anatomy if they degraded a sacred ritual in order to make money. Plus they could not spell too well which might be the real reason. Anyway, it was that spelling that attracted me. I figured it was a uber-vision quest, a vision quest that was fused with some new technique for even better results.
You might be saying, ‘yeah that’s nice but what is a vision quest ?’ To tell the truth, I don’t really know for sure but what I think it is a ritual in which you strip away all the factors that distract you and then you really look at yourself and then you see who you really are. Oh, I forgot one other thing - you meet your spirit guide.
You also might be saying, ‘Okay, now I know what a vision quest is but why in the world are you going into a cave with no light after having spent the last day and night ‘purifying ‘ yourself ? ‘ And you might be asking, ‘What does he mean by ‘purifying’ ?” Again, I have to say I am not an expert on these things but Raven Bob and Blind Gopher put me through a rigorous day and night ritual of sweat lodging and starvation - I said no to the Peyote taking but as it turns out Raven Bob’s cousin, Sister YellowTail couldn’t score any anyway.
You might be saying ‘what is sweat lodging ? ’ Well, you know you ask a lot of questions. Why don’t you look it up ? Everybody knows what a sweat lodge is - a place where you meditate, pray, and get rid of all the toxins in your body by sweating. When you do a sweat lodge, you are only supposed to drink water (no eating anything). Except a salt tablet or two because you need salt and you lose salt when you sweat.
So now you know what I know except you don’t know why I felt the need to ‘find myself’.
Well, that is another story that I will tell you now.

About a month ago, I am standing on a train, a crowded train, the kind of crowded train where one could lift both legs off the floor and not move. Packed tight, sardine can plus plus. There is an old lady in front of me. She is sleeping even though she is standing up. As the train stops to let off the first wave of commuters, the tension that holds us packed together eases. Ah,. I can breathe again. The old lady snaps out of her slumber and grabs my hand. She wears a crazy dazed look on her face.
“Tony,” she says, “where am I.?” I don’t know what to say.
“Um, I’m not Tony.” Best I could do at that moment. Not what she was looking for. Or expecting. I knew that by the look of terror in her eyes.
To say she became crazy at that moment might be a bit of a stoic understatement, similar to something Raven Bob might say. But he didn’t and I did so, I’ll take credit for it. Her name was Sara Borten. The police told me that later. Before I met the police, Sara made quite a scene, running up and down the aisle, swinging her umbrella, calling some people Communists, others terrorists and most of the females whores. Me, she called Tony.
“I don’t know her.” I protested to my fellow passengers. It did not matter, they sensed what I sensed - that I was the only one she would listen to. I had the power to calm her down.
And she did need to be calmed down. Although she stood barely five feet tall, Sara was terrorizing everyone, threatening anyone who dared to get near her. This was a problem as she was standing by the exit.
“I’ll kill you,” she screamed, “I’ll you kill all. “ Her voice then became meek, little frightened girl meek. “Tony, help me, Tony.” She was looking at me.
It all seemed surreal. I switched into a different me at that point, a me who calmly walked up to her and told her it was okay. Just sit down with me and it will be okay. She did, holding my hand while the all the other passengers quickly and carefully filed off the car. We waited together for the police and paramedics to arrive. She said nothing. I did not want to rile her up so I too said nothing. An eerie silence. I wondered what would happen to her, I wondered why me, and I wondered when this would end. There seemed to be an endless amount of silence to wonder in so I used it. I began to wonder about myself and when I was going to eat tonight and what I was going to eat; I did not want to eat fast food again, maybe Chinese would be good. I wondered if the Cubs would ever win the world series and I wondered if I would ever meet the right person, the girl who would complete me. I wondered why I did not think of my current girlfriend, Amy, as that person. I wondered if she would be mad about that. I wondered why I was dating a girl bigger than me. I wondered what would I do if I had to go to the bathroom ? Could I leave this crazy lady here by herself ? Luckily, I did not have to go.
I wondered why a million little insignificant things were all I could wonder about. Where was my depth ? Was this all I cared about in life? Wasn’t there something more important, more significant that I should be doing with my life ? I was all set to do some deep heavy wondering about myself when the cops showed up.
Not much happened after that. At first, the cops were not sure of who was the crazy person, Sara or me since we both were sitting quietly. However that problem was quickly solved. Sara, aroused by their arrival, stood up and defiantly challenged any and all to death by umbrella, lest they come near her. There is something amusing in seeing a barely five foot tall old lady holding four strapping young men at bay. To their defense, I must say that there is something ultimately scary about crazy people, the people who are clearing operating outside the limits of ‘normal’ behavior. I was there and although she was not attacking me, I felt afraid. I guess that there is the unpredictability of their behavior that makes these people the most scary; you never know what they will do next.
I saw one cop getting a tazer ready and again something inside of me took over. Time stopped for me at that moment. I saw the cop with the tazer, I saw Sara acting crazy. I saw fear in the faces of the other cops and I knew somebody had to do something or this was going to ugly fast. I jumped up away from the cops and grabbed Sara by the hand, looked her in the eyes and told her to sit down. I turned to the cops and said ‘back off’’. For some strange reason, they all did what I told them to do. I told the cops that I did not know this lady but for some strange reason she seems to listen to me. I asked them what do we do next and they said let’s get off the train. So we did and Sara gave them her purse when I told her to and then they found her Id card, asked if she had any friends or relatives they could call. She told them she had a daughter and suprisingly she knew her daughter’s phone number. I wound up riding with Sara to the hospital (psych ward) because when I started to leave she started to get agitated. The cops did not want to handle a crazy old lady if they didn’t have to so they asked me to go along. I did not have any plans for that night (which was strange because it was a Friday and on ninty-nine out of a hundred Fridays, I would have plans to do something). I went to the hospital, helped Sara check in, sat while they put her in a bed and injected her with relaxants. Her daughter arrived and thanked me.
“You must have some sort of gift,” she said, “or magic or something. When she gets crazy, she doesn’t listen to anyone.”
“So this has happened before ?” I asked. I was curious.
“Yeah,” she said, “Too many times.” She looked tired and anxious. “Look, I need a cigarette. You want to go for a walk ?”
I said yes and the next thing I knew, I was sipping coffee outside at a Caribou Coffee Cafe, surrounded by hospital workers who were also smoking and sipping. I deduced that from the way Liz, crazy Sara’s eldest daughter, proceeded here without any hesitation, this was not the first time she had been here. I was right.
Liz was smoking cigarette after cigarette, pausing between drags to tell me her sad story. She told me her mother Sara suddenly, at the age of fifty began behaving bizarrely. Perhaps, it was some sort of subtle genetic factor kicking in or latent effect of her divorce, either way life with Sara became very unpredictable. Her first sin, according to Liz, happened when she walked away from her job as a chief bear stuffer at the Teddy Bear Factory, a top scale toy store downtown.
“No, she did not quit that job. She just walked away. In the middle of a shift - just like that. And that was a really good job, “ said Liz, while nervously running her cigarette hand through her hair, “great pay, great benefits. Full Dental, who walks away from that ?”
“Well, that doesn’t sound too crazy.” I said innocently. I was trying to make sense of why I was here listening to Liz when I was so hungry. I thought about ordering something here but all they had was cookies and scones.
“Are you kidding me ? Are you kidding me ? It was insane. And do you know why she said she quit that job?” Liz’s question caught me off guard. I didn’t know what to say. Turns out, I didn’t have to say anything.
“Because she had to look out for me. She said she had to keep her eyes on me because I was getting off my path.” Liz stared at me. “What the hell does that mean ? And the kicker is she tells me she has no place to live and that she has to move in with me. So I says okay but just till you get another job and get your own place. Or a new lover. Do you know that she has been married five times ? No wait, (she counts on her fingers) six. And she lived with a guy for couple of years too. What kind of a childhood do you think I had. She uses people, especially guys. She just sucks them dry and then boom (Liz clicks her fingers for emphasis) they’re gone.”
“So then she moves in and stays for years. I haven’t had a date in over a year. I don’t remember what guys look like naked anymore. She either scares my boyfriends off or she throws herself at them. And some of the turds actually did sleep with her.” She sucked hard on her cigarette.
At this point, I began to lose track of what Liz was saying. It all seemed to be the same thing - my mother is crazy and I am stuck with her. It might have been the hunger I was feeling, it was now almost nine at night. Supper was calling me, but I couldn’t find it. There were no eating places around that I could see and going back to the hospital was out of the question, because Liz would not be able to smoke there. I wished I could go home but I depended on Liz to get me there or somewhere where I could get home from like a train station or a bus. Liz had told me she would drive me home so I sat there and listened and listened and listened to Liz’s story(s?). There might have been more than one but I couldn’t tell because her story telling was having a narcotic effect on me). As I looked at Liz, I realized that she was a fairly good looking woman who had slightly gone to seed. I began to have wandering eyes and before I knew it I was staring at her chest. With the top two buttons of her blouse not doing their job and the third one threatening to fly off any minute, I began to wonder what would happen if it did because I believed beyond a reasonable doubt there was no other pieces of clothing beneath that blouse. There was lots of movement within which reflected the enthusiasm with which Liz was speaking, or so I supposed.
There was a lull in the conversation. She looked at me.
“Well, what do you think ?” she asked. I have to admit that I had no idea what she had been saying and I did not want to admit that I had no idea what she had been saying so I guessed that she wanted some reassurance.
“Yeah, I guess “ That was all I got out of my mouth. I had wanted to say that I could see her point of view but these words seemed to be enough as Liz jumped out of her seat and began hugging me.
“Oh thank you, thank you. Oh god, thank you.” She kissed my forehead. She kept hugging me and jumping up and down. I was not entirely having an unenjoyable experience but I was also wondering why she was having such a reaction.
“Can we get something to eat ?” I asked and then added “Is there any Chinese places around here ?” I was still too hungry to think and being that way I prioritized my needs. Hunger first, what Liz is happy about, second. I was thinking eat, eat, and go home. Liz had other ideas.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Why - an angry poem

WHY- an angry poem
yesterday I did not tell you
Today I must bare my soul, use my voice,or whatever and spew this venom I have restrained
I can no longer hold it in - to do so would hurt me, and that is a thing I would rather not do.
You settle for darkness because it is easy
to blame others for events that happened in your life, the one in which you are present 100% of the time,
Between life and lignite, there is light (at least in the dictionary),
So I hold out hope that in the black muscle you call a heart there is some too.
Yet you continue to practice evil,
the same evil that turns your head
when others are abused - you give no concern because it is not you, it didn’t happen in your house or to anyone you know, So you say tht’s just Tough-o Shit-o
and you laugh
You don’t hesitate to blame others for what you did
because You think you gain that way..And the evil grows, as you continue
to point your finger, shoot and drive away.
Never looking back
At the hate and hurt and grudges, you throw at others
like ninja knives, piercing and damaging
those who got in your way
What could be fixed with Band-aids and kisses
is met with a slap
Because you believe they meant to slap you
only yours is harder because you believe that making them hurt will ease your pain
Go Ahead - and turn your head and tell me to fuck off
Tell me I’m no saint, tell me to cram my bullshit back where it came
And fool yourself into thinking that makes you feel better
because what the hell do I know - who the hell do I think I am
Go Ahead and walk away
and light the black candle in your heart, and feed the foulness that infests your soul
because you can’t be bothered
I humbly apologize for having wasted your precious time, time that could have been used to pursue more ill-gotten gains. Please don’t think I wrote this with you in mind.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Vacation Story

I am sitting in a mountain chalet sipping hot cocoa. There is a bowl of soup and a half sandwich on the way. Even though I am in my prime, my body aches from days of hiking. And today, we have walked up the glacier trail in order to see the glacier up close. It is wonderful. We sit on the deck looking at the beauty of Lake Louise, the Canadian rocky mountains, and nature. From here, you cannot see a car, hear a car, and all cell phones are useless. This is my heaven.
It is also my last day in heaven. Starting tomorrow, we six will head back to the hell of our jobs, society, cars, and cell phones. You would think that the six of us would have at the very least the wonderful memory of these last few days in the mountains to carry with us back to hell of society but that is not the case. The hell of society is nothing compared to the hell of traveling with these other five idiots.
Months of planning (two) and careful coordination of vacation schedules could not
prepare us for what we encountered. We thought of everything. We had plenty of food, money, clothes, tents, sleeping bags, etc. We had two cars (both manual transmission and four drivers who could drive manual transmission.) We bought two CB radios which we installed in the cars in order to communicate. Each car would have a driver, navigator, and sleeper (back seat person). We were six friends on a mission, to see the rockies and to say hello to our friend who was living in Montana. This would be the trip of a lifetime.
There were three girls – Meg, Peg and Blanche. There were three guys – Moe, Larry, and myself. We were going to visit our friend Curly. Curly lived just outside Glacier National Park. There were no couples, except Blanche and me. We had been dating for a year and a half. Peg wanted to be my girl friend and Meg did too but I did not know that at the time. I do not consider myself attractive but compared to Moe, Larry and Curly, I guess I was. Moe was an accountant and had the habit of believing that people wanted to know about the details of actuary tables, balance sheets and financial planning. Larry was the oldest of our group at 35 and the most desperate around women. Curly, well, Curly was a lovable puppy
dog of a guy who was going bald at 23 (and was extremely shy due to low self-esteem which was due to his balding head.) Some say that is why he ran away to Nowhere Montana. But I did not care. I wanted to see Banff National Park in Canada and this was my way to get there.
Day one was great. We talked on the Cbs, ( trucker told us correctly that we were about to see a speed trap (which we avoided)), drove farther then we thought we would, rented a dirt cheap and great motel room for the night. All our meals were great, the weather was great, and everyone thought everyone else was great. Harmony and good times.
Day two started out the same way. We drove until we found Wall Drug, South Dakota. Wall Drug is a unique town named after its largest business, the drugstore. In fact there is not much to Wall Drug beyond the tourist trap drugstore but it is located in the middle of nowhere and with 200 miles in each direction of flat barren land, it is an oasis for the traveler. In those 200 miles coming to Wall Drug, we encountered several hundred signs telling us not to miss the sights and sounds of Wall Drug. Who could resist this subliminal programming of our travel wearying minds ? It was at Wall Drug that our 'great' vacation turned into a 'good' vacation.
We parked our cars and exploded into the quarter mile long store like kids heading to recess. Moe started to look for cowboy hats, Meg and Peg looked at t-shirts, Larry went to look for food, Blanche and I just sauntered around, content in the moment, not caring for to be hooked by this tourist trap. At least, I thought so but Blanche had other ideas. You see, every group over time begins to define the role of its members. Since we did not have a true leader, someone the group would defer to make decisions, we needed or so Blanche thought she would be the whipcracker, the one who would keep us on schedule. She allowed 30 minutes for this rest stop and 30 minutes it would be. After 20 minutes had past, she started to wonder where everyone was and she decided to round everyone up. Meg and Peg had separated between purses and scarfs, but Peg was more than willing to stay with me while Blanche rounded everyone up. After Blanche left, Peg said she thought it would be a good idea if Blanche and I rode in separate cars for the next leg of the journey. In those days, I was a bit of a people pleaser so I agreed. Blanche came back with Meg and Larry, made them stay and went to look for Moe whom no one had seen. Meg was glad to with the group again but Larry was not. Perhaps, there was some friction between these two ?
I did not know this at the time but there was. Meg and Larry had shared a bed the previous night and although it was a strictly platonic sleeping arrangement ( we slept in the same room), Larry had thought there might be some chemistry forming between the two of them. Meg, on the other hand, thought that she had enough closeness with Larry and was willing to sleep in the car tonight to prove it. Peg wanted to buy me a t-shirt so I said okay because I liked getting t-shirts as gifts and I thought a particular one was pretty cool. I also was naïve about the reason Peg wanted to buy me a t-shirt. I was too wrapped up in the getting a 'free' t-shirt to pay much attention to it. Blanche returns without Moe and has a crabby look on her face.
I found him but he won't come, she says. She is looking at me because she knows that Moe will listen to me. So I agree to get Moe. I find Moe where Blanche said he was, looking at wooden carvings that strangely all look the same. He sees me coming and without hesitation tells me that he is going to spend as much time as he wants looking around and no one is going to make him do otherwise. I sigh. I have realized what my role is in this group and it is one doomed to failure. I am the peacemaker, I am the one that tries to make everybody happy.
I try to reason with Moe. If we spend too much time here, we won't be able to see the Badlands and Mount Rushmore. Don't you think these things are more interesting ? Moe, to my surprise, agrees and quietly accompanies me back the group. Blanche is not happy. What's wrong ? I don't want to talk about it. Peg, also looks miffed. Larry looks irked and Meg looks happy. I am clueless. We all get back to the cars and drive onward. Blanche, Larry, and I are in one car. Peg, Meg, and Moe in the other.
The Badlands come and go without incident but no one seems happy, at least not as happy as the day before. For most of us, we are seeing things we have never seen before. Larry has been here twice before so he tells us without hesitation what he think is important. The Badlands are cool, Mt. Rushmore is not. We should skip that all together. The rest of the group disagrees. Somehow, despite Blanche's herding us along, we still are running behind schedule. It is five thirty in the afternoon and some trucker tells us that Mt. Rushmore closes at either six or seven. We are roaming around the Black Hills trying to figure out where this place is. Meg finds the right road (trumping Blanche's role of head navigator), and we are there. It is five minutes after six. The park is not closed and will not for another 25 minutes. We only need ten. Larry was right. MT. Rushmore is lame. You can't get anywhere near it and it looks so small. One look, a few pictures and you are done. But on the way here we have seen signs of a MT. Rushmore want-a-be which features chief Crazy Horse being carved into a mountain. We drive there and are dismayed at what we see – a mountain being carved into the image of chief Crazy Horse, only slowly. At the rate the carving was done, geological forces will have eroded the mountain to nothing before this carving will be finished. Still it was a sight that not even Larry had seen before.
We eat in Rapid City and head down the road again. Blanche has scheduled another 100 or so miles to go. Moe has other ideas. He exits the interstate at the next town we come up to and promptly drives to the local diner and gets out. He enters and orders a dinner of pancakes and eggs. He eats his dinner alone while Blanche begins to boil. The rest of us are ranging from curious to pissed. I want to keep the peace but I am outnumbered 4 to one. If Moe had not owned one of the cars we were using, he might still be there stuck in that town in Wyoming. But he did and we waited – mostly because he had the keys to the car.
We drive another 60 or so miles and stop because the next town after this one is another hundred plus miles down the road. We get a two rooms for the night. Blanche and I will be in one and the other four in the other room. It is when we are alone that Blanche lets loose with her bottled up feelings. She is pissed at Moe, she is miffed at Larry and she is green-eyed furious with Peg. It seems that when I was gone looking for Moe in Wall Drug, Peg approached her and suggested that the girls share me. I could sleep with a different girl every night and since Blanche had the first night, it would only be right that Peg could have the second night and Meg the third night. Doesn't this make sense? She says.
Whatever fantasies I might have conjured up with squashed by look in Blanche's eyes. Hell hath no fury like them and I did not want to be on the wrong side of them. I go sleep fast that night hoping for a better day.
The next day was worse and if not for the fact that we arrived at where Curly was living, I am sure that some people might not have survived. Larry tried to sleep with Meg again but she and Peg formed an alliance and slept together which forced Moe to sleep with Larry. Moe says Larry snores too loud but gets no sympathy due to the others being pissed at him. Peg is crabby and begins to complain that Blanche is hogging me. Meg is happy because she did not have to be with Mr. Roaming Hands (Larry). Larry is irked that he had to sleep with Moe when there are two young nubile women available. Hey, hasn't anyone heard of free love ? Blanche can't looked at Moe without malice and can't look at Peg without thoughts of bodily harm running through her head. And I am hoping that Curly can save the day.
We arrive at Curly's and he comes running out to see us. He is so happy to see us that he cannot imagine that we are anything but happy. His happiness is contagious and we stop with our petty squabbles. If Curly can be happy, then we should be happy. And we are, if for no other reason than this: we do not have to be cramped in a car with each other. However, we soon realize why Curly is so happy to see us. We meet his roommates.
His roommates seem to have nothing in common except the fact that they do not like Curly. They are all part of a Catholic charities thing out here – I am not sure what (I think it is for American Indians). Anyway, it is five united against Curly and I can't for the life of me imagine why. Curly has always been a wonderful friend to me.
The people running the program seem to love Curly but the volunteers do not. Not even close. Curly parades us around, flaunting us to his roommates. 'These are my friends.' A statement that says two things, 1) I do SO have friends and 2) now there are seven on my side and I have YOU outnumbered. We do not spend much time with these people. They don't seem to hate us. They seem to wonder why 'normal' people like us are friends with HIM. I will never know why these people had that attitude but I can't image living there in the middle of nowhere with no one liking you. It sounds like hell.
We spend the rest of the week in a cabin just outside of Glacier National park. One of the people running the program Curly is in owns it and lets us stay there for nothing. Can't beat that. Nothing but harmony reigns except that Larry nearly burns the place down (he wanted to surprise everyone by cooking breakfast but put too much wood in the stove. The only thing that saved us was the wood was not dry. Smoke fills the cabin and I do mean fills, completely fills. Like it or not we have to go outside, in the cool crispy morning mountain air. The smarter ones (me and Curly) take our sleeping bags with us. The not so smart (peg and meg) run out in their pajamas, their skimpy pajamas. Perhaps, this is for my benefit. I offer to warm them up but Blanche growls at me. Curly gives the two of them his bag. He goes back into the cabin and opens the windows. Larry, of course, is fully dressed and ready to take on the day. Yes, Larry is one of the most dreaded people alive on the planet. He is a MORNING person.
Moe is not. I am not. If not for Blanche waking me and pulling me out of bed, I would still be where Moe is, in bed, pretending there is no smoke. No one except Curly seems to care that Moe is in danger of dying. Blanche says, he wants to do his own thing so let him do his own thing. The mob nods in agreement – Curly doesn't understand. 'He might die.'
Peg thinks out loud 'would that be a bad thing?' No, there is not a lot of sympathy for Moe.
We spend the next few days wandering around the park and outlying areas. No matter where we are, an open field of buffalo, the interior of the lodge, in the nearby town, Meg worries about grizzly bears. Really worries. What if it sneaks up on us here? Will anyone survive ? It seems that one summer, Meg worked here in Glacier Park. As part of their orientation program, the park showed a movie to new employees about the dangers of wild animals. It made a huge impression on Meg. No matter where we were in the park, no matter how many people around us, Meg was convinced that a grizzly bear was out there stalking her. It was only a matter of time before it got her. At lunch in the restaurant, she would take a bite of her meal only after looking around in a 360 degree scan of the restaurant. She would not go to the washroom alone. She did not even want to sit on the stall alone. Despite this, we manage to have a good time these few days. It is heaven being in amongst nature.
We bid goodbye to Curly, who only has a few weeks left on his sentence, I mean agreement with Catholic charities. We cross the border into Canada. The crossing guard only seems to care if we have enough money to last our three days there. “Don't want you hippies sticking around. Get in. Get out. Spend some money.” are his words of wisdom. We don't have long hair but I guess he figured that normal people would not travel more than one family per car therefore we must be hippies.
The next few days are spent wandering around Banff National park, in the town of Banff and in the Lake Louise villa. In Banff, the town there is a public spa. There is an outdoor pool filled with hot springs water. Everyone decides that is what they want to do – literally soak up the scenery. Everyone except Larry and I. We decide we are going to use the sauna, sweat out the crap inside of us and get a massage. Somehow our sauna session becomes a manly macho duel. Larry has determined that his manhood is defined by how much longer he can stay in the sauna (than me.) We sit in the sauna for three minutes, then rinse ourselves off with a very quick shower, then back to the sauna. This time for real, last man out wins. Ten minutes pass. I don't mind losing to Larry but I am competitive and I am ten years younger than Larry. I also have run 10 mile runs, so I know how to deal with ignoring the body's signals to quit. Ten more minutes pass. I have to admit I am getting a little lightheaded. I look at Larry, he looks worse than I feel. I tell him that I think we've had enough. He laughs an 'okay little girlie boy' laugh and says that he is going to stay a while longer. Okay, I think, the gloves are off. You are going down.'
Another five minutes of agonizing hell pass. If there is anymore moisture in our bodies, it won't be there for long. I see Larry's head bob up and down and I know he is about to pass out. I figure we are screwed because there is no one else around and neither of us has the strength to lift the other. But I am NOT LEAVING FIRST. I would rather die than to lose to that old man. We might have died there except at that moment, another guy came into the sauna. A stinky fat old guy who seemed to have trouble breathing. And he wanted to talk. And sit next to us. Close to us. Amazing how we suddenly revived our vitality and scampered out of there. Technically, I left a micro-second before Larry so I guess he won.
We showered sanity back into our bodies and then laid down on the tables waiting for our massage. I had visions of some scantily clad Thai woman walking on my back but they were illusions that shattered when Gustav the 300 pound turk began pounding away my knots. The only consolation I had was watching an even bigger turk pounding on Larry.
We met the others outside and described our experience: 'It was great. The sauna cleaned us up and then we got a massage. Oh, that felt good. We should do that again tomorrow.' Except we never ever would, not even under the threat of death by grizzly bear.
The rest of the group told us how wonderful the pool was. I looked at Blanche – I knew she was lying. Years later, she confided that the pool was warm but if you got above the water you froze to death. And the pool smelled of sulfur.
Now it is the end of the last day in Banff. It has been wonderful, the most beautiful park I have ever been to. And I have to leave. With these knuckleheads. But I survived the sauna so I guess I can survive anything.
Not much happens in the next two days. We get one car towed in Calgary, we spend three hours circling Winnipeg looking for a room. (There were plenty of them but someone had an objection to almost every single one (– too loud, too costly, too dumpy, we could do better, etc). The next day, we are faced with a decision. We are in Minnesota. If we drive like hell, we can be back in Chicago sometime after 10 pm. If not we can, stay here and Larry can show around the Twin Cities. The vote is 5 to 1. We drive like hell.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

the TAO of YOU

What I believe
is nothing to you
unless of course
you believe it too.

I didn't think you
would think the way I
do and yet the
truth still comes through.

What it is to
me is not what it
is to you but
it is the same too.

Now I hope that
you realize these words
are but symbols
of a deeper view

One in which I
play no part of you
and one in which
you are you and to

be what you feel
you are you must be
true to the truth
that is known as you

there might be some
who say otherwise
Yet I for one do
believe in you too

The new tao versus the old tao. To me, the old tao is two dimensional and static. The new tao has a three dimensional feel to it and is not static but dynamic - the balance of universe is constant yet it is ever changing. The balance stays the same but what is on either side keeps changing. There are balances within balances, this is my understanding of the way or tao.

Or 'it is whatever it is.'

Monday, March 3, 2008

A look inside myself

Chapter one - The Mind Field

While others might characterize me as a lazy, no-good, or a bum, I prefer to think of myself as a thinker, a ponderer of life's mysteries, and an idea man. Unfortunately, I have as of late come across a bit of a block when it comes to bringing these ideas out into the real world. Some might say this block has been there all my life but I say to those harsh critics - all my life so far.
I have today decided to do something about this block. I am going to in - inside that is - to mine brain, to find out exactly what is causing this block. I know for some such as myself this might be a rash action but I feel that I am not just a thinker - I am a man of action and this situation calls for ACTION.  I have thought about how I should go about this action for some time - a few months - and I have decided to simply shut down my external senses (sight, hearing, touch) and intend to go where no sane person would dare go, my brain.
I close my eyes, put headphones on, and sat calmly in my lazy-boy. I am ready to begin. Almost immediately, I find myself in a scene not unlike a Thomas Kinkade painting. There is a small cottage with a beautiful garden surrounded by a quaint fence of wood and stone. The colors all around me are brilliant. There is a gentle looking woman standing at the gate.
"Excuse me, MS." I ask, "Is this the entrance to my brain ?" A sad look comes over her face.
"Oh my poor dear boy," she says while looking down and shaking her head from side to side, "Why would ye be wanting to go there." Her voice seems to have an Irish accent. "A fine lad like yourself should be here in the hearth."
"You mean, this is the heart."
"That be what I joost said." Her accent seemed to be getting thicker.
"Well, I think I need to go to the brain. Do you know where it is?"
"Fine, refuse my hospitality, then go asking for favors, oh God forgive my soul for telling ye but I will. Ye go toward the the dark tower, take a right at the eye candy fields, cross the dread straight and narrow, keep going no matter what ye see there - I'm warning ye - ford across the creek of pissed-on-dreams, (ye may want to wash yourself after that), climb the hill of beans, and look for the most run down squabble God ever created and that be it." She turned and walked toward the cottage. "God have mercy on your fat and lazy soul."
I thought about what she had said and I came to one conclusion : I was not fat, just a bit past my prime.
(more coming soon)