Monday, August 22, 2011

I think it happened something like this… #3 - Clyde

We knew safe territory. Cut troughs, trails in the woods and trees to climb. There were shacks in forgotten pastures, as if put there for us.

And we knew the places to avoid. Crabby old people or reactive young parents. Most frightening was the house where Clyde lived. He was a few years older than us and strong beyond unbelief. Everybody called him retarded. It was all we knew. He’d yell and chase. Attack at his little brother’s command.

We never saw him at school. He disappeared by the time we hit high school. No one knew where. No one asked.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I think it happened something like this… #2 - A Wad of Bills

Story #2 in a series of 6 fiction 101entries (a story in 101 words or less) exploring growing up in the '60.

A Wad of Bills

Donny showed us the wad of bills, lots of bills. We followed him to the drug store lunch counter. Burgers, fries and sodas. Cherry for me. Whatever we wanted. He sweet-talked the waitress. She was maybe sixteen, but to us she was a woman. He offered to buy her presents. She refused. Time wore on and someone mentioned getting home for dinner. Donny promised more tomorrow.

After school, we anxiously waited for Donny, dreaming. Doug arrived. “Donny’s dead. He took that money from his dad’s wallet. He’s grounded forever.”

After mumbling and a few shrugs, we started a ball game instead.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I think it happened something like this… I Wonder (1 of 6)

This is the first in a series of stories based on memories of growing up in the 60’s. Each story is 101 words or less.

I wonder

I wonder what stuff in my memory is more story than fact. Like Johnny from Sunday school, who swallowed his gum and choked to death.

It happened at the grocery store. In my memory, he was wearing a navy blue suit with short pants, because that’s what he wore to church. I was always glad I never had to wear short suits. He was with his grandparents, so his parents didn’t see him go.

I think we would have gone to the same school. We might have been in class together, maybe even sat next to each other, but we didn’t.

Monday, August 1, 2011

a poem for my dad

My dad died on 8.1.97. I wrote this poem a decade later. I'm re-posting it on this day of memories and missing.

August 1, 2007

ten years gone
a decade
August 1, 1997

we were over the mountains at a hotel
waiting to get the kids from camp
I was planning to visit the next week
got the call
you were gone

all the things you don’t know

within days, OK a few months
I had a new job and car
Michael moved out (was in foster care)
we would have talked and you would have cared

I can’t believe you don’t know

I imagine you in your family room
sitting in your chair
(it’s upstairs in our guest room now)
your television and sound system
(big screens and theater sound are the rage,
I know you’d love it)
you’d put in some action movie
tell me “listen to this”
sound would overwhelm the room
it would be impressive

I want to hear you rant about the government
and the unending stupidity of people

I want to play Upwords
just the two of us
you keeping score
for little reason
because you would win