The Wait


He sat in silence.

Listening to nothing but hearing everything.

The air conditioner would click on and the motor would hum to regulate the temperature to his preferred setting of 72 degrees.

The ceiling fan, that had fixtures for 5 bulbs but only contained 1, turned unsteadily but continuously on the low setting.

He looked up at it, shrugged his shoulders, and returned his gaze back to the flat screen tv that hadn’t been turned on in 4 years.

And sat in silence.

He glanced at the framed memories on the walls that surrounded him.

Each photo a freeze frame of smiles, hugs and happy times.

He reached over to the end table that sat next to the sofa and picked up a frame and looked at it.

It contained a photo of his wife and daughter at the dance recital for the 6th grade class.

He smiled and ran his finger over the glass.

RING RING

RING RING

He placed the photo next to him and answered his cell phone.

“Hello.”

“……………”

“Yes…of course I want to be there. I have waited a long time for this.”

“………….”

“Ok, see you soon.”

He clicked end on the phone, picked up his keys and the picture and headed out the door.

He reached the preceding just after it had started.

The judge banged his gavel and began, just as the man took his seat in the front row of the gallery.

“Order in the court….Mr. Foreman….has the jury reached a verdict.”

The jury foreman stood up and replied,

“We have, your honor.”

“Very well. This case has 2 counts. On the first count of intoxicated vehicular manslaughter, how do you find…”

“We find the defendant….guilty.”

After a pause, the judge moved on.

“On the second count of intoxicated vehicular manslaughter, how do you find?”

“We find the defendant….guilty.”

The man sat in silence. Listening to everything but hearing nothing.

All he knew, was that after 4 years, it was finally over.

His wife and daughter had been taken from him, and only now could he properly mourn.

Having the man responsible being sentenced to whatever amount of years would never by adequate compensation for the years he will never get to have with the ones he took away,

But justice does not have feelings, it can only hope to provide some sort of closure.

For him…he had to find his own closure.

He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out the photograph that he had brought from home and walked over to the defendant.

The defendant’s eyes grew wide but he could not go anywhere.

The man looked him in the eye and handed his lawyer the photo and said,

“I want you take this photo of my wife and child with you to wherever you are headed. I want you to look at it….every day as a reminder of why you are there. I want you to know that I have forgiven you but I can not be at peace until they forgive you as well. Look at the picture and realize that someday you will be free and be able to live out your life but they…..”

Without finishing his statement, the man turned around and walked out of the courtroom.

He got back into his car and returned home.

He sat on the sofa in silence.

Listening to nothing but hearing his wife and daughter practicing her dance routine for the 7th grade recital that they never made it to because of the accident that took their lives.

He began to cry as he heard them practicing.

Through those tears, he knew that he would eventually find peace.

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The Silence Of Lucidity


Clarity is…..a smile that is unseen.

It is felt through the deep staggered inhale that helps to fight back the tears that is the knowing that something has got to give.

It’s the silence of being alone in a room overcrowded with inner thoughts and the barrenness of answers.

It’s the single teardrop that fights free from the ducts of stubbornness and washes away the armor of personal deceit.

It is the surrender to the cycle of self.

It is rehabilitation of the soul….the rejuvenation of unparalleled confidence.

It is the storm that passes….

and the revelation that it will return.

Clarity is…..a glimpse into maybe.

The Rules Of Engagement


He walked out of the bathroom of their small 1 bedroom apartment and out into the main room, where his girlfriend of over 6 years sat and filed her nails.

He knew it was time to finally ask her. He couldn’t take the what if’s that ran through his mind anymore.

He had to be straightforward and direct. Confidence was the key.

She looked up at him as he walked into the room and smiled.

He returned the smile and approached her as his hands began to sweat.

“Honey…I need to ask you something…” He began as he faced her.

“Ok.” She kindly replied.

He glanced at the floor, knelt down on one knee and placed what was in his hand on the floor next to him.

He looked up at her lovingly, paused, smiled and began,

“Eve…would you…”

Her heart began to race before he could finish. She jumped up and exclaimed,

“YES YES OF COURSE I WILL MARRY YOU!…I need to call my Mother…she doesn’t think you are good enough for me….never has…..but it doesn’t matter now…we are getting married!! I need a dress….we need to start making plans…O….M…..G…bridesmaids…how many? What color for their dresses…we need to learn a cool dance like those ones on the youtube! Wait…wait.,,.before I do anything.. I need the ring….where’s the ring?….PUT IT ON MY FINGER!!”

She said as she stuck her left hand out while continuing her happy dance.

He looked at her bewildered, stood up from his kneeling position and replied,

“I…I…I don’t have a ring…”

“No ring? What do you mean no ring? Don’t you know the rules of engagement? I NEED A RING!” She answered.

“I wasn’t asking you to marry me….” He began as he knelt down and picked up what he had placed next to himself and cautiously continued,

“I was gonna ask….would you please remember to put the cap back on the toothpaste after you use it….it gets all crusty and then SHOOTS out without warning.”

As he spoke he handed her the tube with the crusty top.

She looked at it and replied,

“Toothpaste crust? Then why did you get down on one knee?”

He looked down and pointed as he replied,

“My shoelace is untied.”

The Fix


The young boy wandered the streets in a frantic daze. His eyes would jet back, forth and he would look behind him to make sure he wasn’t being followed.

He needed a fix.

It seemed, to him, that all the kids at school were experimenting with new things.

He wanted something new, too.

He didn’t fit in and had a hard time making friends because he was transferred from the “bad side of town”.

His clothes weren’t right. His hair wasn’t right.

He just needed something to make him “feel”…..right.

The other day, he overheard talk about a guy nicknamed “the fixer”.

They said he knew a place that had some stuff that would take your mind to places you couldn’t even imagine!

They said he promised that one fix from him and you would be hooked.

No joke!

They talked about going to look for the man with the raven tattoo on his arm, but they were all talk.

He wasn’t.

He was on a mission to get the elusive fix that all the kids were talking about.

He combed the downtown city blocks, glancing at every male arm he could to hopefully catch a glimpse of the raven.

As the heat of the day wore on and perspiration began to drop off his cheek to the concrete below, he knew he needed to take a break from his search.

He glanced across the street and saw a single water fountain at the edge of the downtown walking park.

He crossed the street and jogged up to the fountain, where he pressed and held the button and drank until he thought he would burst.

As he drank, a voice from behind him scared him into stopping.

“Are you planning on draining the cities water supply or are you gonna leave some for others to have?”

The young boy stopped, turned around and began to reply,

“I’m sorry…I was thirst….”

That’s when he noticed the tattoo.

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He stepped out of way and let the man in torn jeans and long hair by.

The man with the tattoo pulled his hair out of the way and drank slowly from the fountain.

The young boy just stared at the tattoo and gulped, waiting for him to turn around.

The man finished drinking, turned around and gave the boy a quizzical look.

“You look like you’ve seen a ghost? You ok?” He asked the boy.

The boy quickly replied before he changed his mind.

“Are you the fixer?”

“Huh?”

“The…the fixer…I heard a man with a raven tattoo has some stuff that promises to take you away for a while….I heard one fix from you…and…and…I would be hooked…are you him.”

The man with the raven tattoo studied the boy.

He then asked him to sit with him on the bench, so they could talk.

“Look, kid..I don’t have “the stuff” as you called it….but I can take you to the place that does. But I have to warn you…..the one fix and hooked deal is real. It’s not one of those new fancy drugs that I hear about. This one has been around…a long time..and isn’t used much anymore…it lost its ‘cool factor’ a long time ago…..but it still works better than anything else. How much money you got?”

The kid shifted his eyes, stood up, turned out his pockets and replied.

“I don’t have any money….”

The man rubbed his tattoo and answered.

“First fix on me…..but here’s the deal. I will take you, but, when you come back for more, which you will, you have to bring a friend. When we get there you will have to talk to the woman who also has a raven tattoo….she monitors the joint to make sure anyone who goes there gets their “fix” in silence…..she will set you up for future fixes. Deal?”

The young man stared up at him and pondered if he could really handle what he was getting himself into. In defiance to his normal unconfident self, he stuck out his hand and said,

“Deal.”

The man stuck out his arm with the raven tattoo and shook his hand gently with his hand.

“Let’s go.”

They walked two blocks down from the park, and up a stairwell that was in between two buildings.

At the top was a clearing of trees that had a walkway and two flights of stairs that led up to an old building.

A few people hung around outside.

They each nodded to the man with the raven tattoo as he and the boy passed.

No words. Just nods.

As he opened the large oak front door, the young man was stuck by a silence he was not used to. At first it was uncomfortable but soon it began to soothe him.

They walked up to a large desk, where a woman with long red hair sat.

The man with the raven tattoo cleared his throat.

The woman looked up and brushed her hair behind her ear, revealing a small raven tattoo on her neck trailed by stars.

“This kid is looking hit his first fix. I told him we could fix him up.”

She looked at the boy and then at the man and replied,

“Kinda young…isn’t he?”

The man shrugged his shoulders and answered,

“Hey…he came to me…if we want to keep this place going, they need to get hooked as young as possible. I told him first fix was on me…you set him up for a return visit?”

“I suppose…take him in…and don’t bother the others…I’m unusually busy today.”

The man with the raven tattoo led him to an opening that was covered by a curtain.

As he opened the curtain, the young mans eyes grew wide. He slowly looked in each direction and asked,

“What is this place?”

The man with the raven tattoo knelt down to be able to quietly speak into his ear.

“This place is the only fix you will ever need, it will open your mind, expand your imagination and take you wherever you want to go…..welcome to the library.”

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The Sobering Surgeon


Week 2 of my recovery from surgery, required visit number 2 to the surgeon so he could check on the status of my recovery from his handiwork.

He was impressed with how much movement I had in my arm.

As he checked the wound to decide if the staples would be coming out or not he made a point to fill my wife and I in on how close I was to not being around at all.

The injury came within 4-5 millimeters of one of the main arteries.

The width of the band on this ring is approximately 5 millimeters.

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He said he was able to place his index finger on the artery and feel my pulse pumping the blood.

4 millimeters deeper and I would of had zero chance of making it to the hospital or otherwise.

0

Once again, he stated that someone was looking out for me.

Before he left, he said I was healing well….

And that I should be treated to champagne for still being alive.

“You hear that, honey??? He said I should get champagne….and he’s a Doctor…..so he must be right!”

I did get about 15 staples removed. Which leaves about 35 or so to go.

As far as the champagne goes, I plan on staying sober until I die…..not until I almost die.

I was treated to the champagne of fountain drinks though.

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It’s Dr. Pepper…just what the Dr. ordered.

Life sometimes takes scary turns.

Be grateful for every moment.

The Reluctant Angel-Conclusion


The Angel in the grey suit walked the city streets, taking in the sights and sounds of a normal day.

He listened as the cab drivers screeched in and out of traffic, occasionally shouting obscenities out their open windows to other drivers who impeded the journeys.

He tipped his fedora to the the ladies that he passed, who were endlessly gossiping about their neighbors and what happened on last nights reality shows.

He would nod his head at the gentlemen who were complaining about the results of last nights baseball game while intertwining their disgust for the state of the economy.

He stopped at the crosswalk to await the light to turn green.

As he waited, he was approached by a man, grasping and displaying a leather bound book.

“Have you been saved, my good man?” He asked as he waved the book in front of him.

The man in the grey suit turned to look at him and plainly replied,

“In order for me to be saved…you must be implying that I have been abandoned….the only thing I plan to abandon is answering your question, allowing you the opportunity to save your breathe….good day…sir.”

The man in the grey suit, properly tipped his fedora and began to cross the street just as the light changed to green.

The man with the book was left to decipher the reply to his question.

As the pedestrian traffic lessened, the Angel had an opportunity to glance at his himself in a storefront window.

He saw the fedora that rested atop his head.

The slightly oversized grey casual suit that covered his upper and lower body.

And…

The worn grey tennis shoes that served as the vehicles that covered his modes of transportation.

He smiled at the sight of himself and how his transition Angel scoffed at his choice of footwear to go along with the required attire.

He then, changed direction and headed for a spot to reflect.

He walked toward the center of the park, following the path that was covered with sidewalk chalk portraits and drawing left by the artists of the future and took a seat on a bench, conveniently shaded by a large oak tree.

Once again, he took in the sights and the sounds of a much different area of the city.

The children laughing.

The mothers….mothering.

The jogger’s…jogging.

He looked up and saw a single white dove glide through the air and perch itself on the bench next to him.

It tilted its head side to side at him, then put it’s beak down and grabbed a bread crumb that was left from whomever sat and ate there before he arrived, and flew back up into the sky.

He watched it with wonder as it effortlessly glided through the air.

He wondered if the choice he made was the correct one.

Angel heard a noise and turned his head upward toward the power lines that cross crossed around the park.

A gallery of black crows perched on a number of the lines, resembling a combination of musical notes, cawing at each other.

They just sat there, perched high above the hustle and bustle of the cities occupants….watching.

Again, he wondered if the choice he made was the right one.

He sat back on the bench, shut out the noise of his surroundings and waited for the aura of peace to settle the reluctance of his decision.

As the peace slowly came, he was reminded of the last conversation he had with the Angel who wore the immaculately shined shoes, before he was released back into world as an Angel himself.

“So…why do we go back, if not to show proof that Angels exist?…and how am I even here…when I wasn’t even on the list? I saw the look of surprise on your face when you first saw me in the room of the waiting dead…”

The Angel paused. Then reluctantly answered the questions to the best of his knowledge.

“Because proof leads to belief that the theories of faith have been correct. That will lead to wars caused by each faction of faith believing that their theory is more true than the next. We cannot encourage proof that we do not have, which is why we go back without wings.”

“I still don’t get it….”

“Even we, who are given the title of ‘Angel’ do not have the answer. The answer lies somewhere in the grey area between birth and death. To this point, all we know is life on earth itself is a heaven that is not appreciated and is becoming a hell that most are tolerating. Our purpose for going back is to ensure that the search continues for the peace there that we have found….here.”

“O…k….and the list?”

“That is another story that I was hoping not to tell you….but you asked…so I must tell. It is my duty….”

After another reluctant pause…he began.

“The human state of being is bound by destiny. Destiny is bound by three fates. Fate 1 is conception to birth. Fate 2 is the amount of time allotted between birth and death. Fate three is the existence after life. The completion of the three, results in individual destiny. Each stage of fate is monitored by a selected group of Angels. Each list that is compiled is checked and passed along to the next. From fate 1…to fate 2….to fate 3….where the transition choice is given. Your name was on the list, but was flagged by the angels of fate 2 because of its uncanny similarities between you…and I. Name, cause of death, gender…the sameness was uncanny. The Angel in charge of the destiny file decided it was a misprint and left your name off the list without bothering to check if it was correct…or not.”

Angel sat up in his chair and exclaimed,

“A freaking MISTAKE??”

The Angel chuckled and replied,

“More of an oversight than a mistake…remember…we were all once human…angels are not perfect, nor were we intended to be. Which is why we seek the ones who search for answers instead of believing out of fear of damnation or promise of salvation. Your imminent destiny was always tied to mine.”

Angel opened his eyes and let the peace he has found intermingle with the sounds of the city.

As he looked around him and wondered if this place could ever put differences aside and search as one, he was reminded of the gift that the Angel who wore the immaculately shined shoes gave him.

He reached into the jacket pocket of his casual grey suit and pulled out a pocket watch.

He opened it up and looked at the simple inscription that was inscribed on the plate opposite the face of the clock-

“The search for answers covers many terrains and takes time….wear comfortable shoes.”

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Covered On Sunday-The Preaching Madonna


I must not have been doing a good job at choosing this weeks selection, because every song I picked, my lovely wife started preaching to me at how awful they were.

“I have never listened to anything that bad”

“Please….TURN THAT OFF!”

Ugh.

So I did, what I believe, any other frustrated husband would do….

“If my picks are so bad, then why don’t you pick a song and I will find a suitable cover for it.”

Only my wife would be able to pick a song, by an iconic artist, none the less, that really has has very few covers that are….original.

“Papa Don’t Preach” by Madonna

First off….Madonna does not bring out my inner child.

Second off….there is no second….I just couldn’t write first off without a second.

The popular covers I found were by Kelli Osbourne, the cast from GLEE, and Celine Dion.

Ugh times 3.

Others were decent but all attempted to sound like Madonna….and that’s not what I do here.

So… I settled on this violin version. She is easy on the eyes and her version is easy on the ears.

I give you a Madonna cover by someone with a name I can’t pronounce much less write.

Enjoy.

Just to prove I am still in charge, here is a bonus DEATH METAL version. If you can make it all the way through without cringing….treat yourself to a blow pop.

By request of my wife….

Madonna….by request of my wife….
You have been covered on Sunday.