"There's not much doubt in any of our minds that no complete idea springs fully formed from our brow,
needing only a handshake and a signature on the contract to send it off into the world to make twenty-five billion dollars.
The germ of the idea grows slowly..." - Walt Kelly

Sunday, August 29, 2010


This is the beginning of something new I'm going to try: picture prompts. The way I figure it, I have zero time during the week to develop and work out stories right now (until I shift locales to get closer to work), so I'm going to take the first word that pops into my head, image search it and use the first picture that catches my eye. Here's the first one: Wire.

The city seemed to grow from all around me, keeping me awake where I stood like tiny pricks of the finger. I'd been here for years, but the miracle of human growth never ceased to underwhelm me. She pawed at my left hand, faint prodding in an attempt to move me to action - to move me at all.

"I've already seen everything," I told her. "This place holds no mysteries for me anymore - not in the daytime, not in the nighttime, not underground, not on the rooftops."

I left her and stepped further into the shopping bag-congested aura of life that flooded my sidewalk. My sidewalk. I'd laid claim to something I had never really even wanted. But this affront to my property offended me nonetheless. I was furious.

I felt her softness again, tickling persistence on the back of my neck and rubbing my shoulder.

"You can't control it all," I admitted to her. "That was my first mistake. I need to let it go."

Then my neck played wrecking machine, twisting my head in all directions as I sought my release. My physical cacophony settled high above my head, high above the rooftops, so high above my sidewalk.

I lowered my eyes and let them reach and rest on hers. She stared plaintively, eyes warbling interest - her need to know overriding her usual emotional sensibility.

"Just trust me," I told her. "It won't be a moment."

* * * * *

The city seemed to curl up from the edge of the earth, lulling me to sleep as it waved and wobbled to and fro, a silent plague that slowly crept from its focal point out into everything, stopping only to squabble briefly with tectonics. I heard her call to me, her sounds as cottony as her touch, urgent and calming, trying to keep me still.

"From here I know new boundaries," I spoke quietly to her. "This is what I've been pleading with myself to find for so long."

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Block Episode, Masta Ace (featuring Punch N Words)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Q's and A's

Q: What should I look for?

A: Watch the flash go; let it command you into any kind of evasive action.

Q: How will I know it's time?

A: Observe the easing winds like dotted lines passing on the highway - small blips of separation. Look for your inconsistency.

Q: How long will I have to wait?

A: The call has been made. Now it's only waiting for a sign - the final ingredient it needs to piece itself together.

Q: What do I need to know?

A: Patience. The flow of power and the pull of another person's destiny tearing you away from your own.

Q: But when will I know if I'm doing it the right way?

A: When you start doing it wrong.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Beautiful Bliss, Wale (feat. J.Cole)

Friday, August 27, 2010

The sun is just the whole world

She always kept the shades open, even when we went to bed. The first time I woke up next to her and saw the sun rising through the branches of the tree outside her window, I got up, pulled the shade down, and fell back to sleep. When her alarm went off in the morning, we had our first big fight as a couple.

No, the extra hour of sleep was not worth it.

I wondered why it was an issue. I tried to pry it out of her many times. I pleaded with her when, winter morning after winter morning, the only thing that was still alive out there burned open my eyelids and made me wonder how many thousands of tons of explosive I would have to launch into space to rid myself of its annoyance.

She seemed intent on keeping it to herself, whatever this secret was. She wouldn’t fight me when I asked. Se just shut down, went totally silent, ceased to function until I dropped it and tried to drag her back out of wherever she was hiding from me.

I eventually decided that my love for her overrode whatever tiny, prickly, angry sensation I felt when she denied another of my plaintive requests. I shut up, basically.

I loved her for three years before I finally got used to it.

One morning, I stirred at the buzzing of my work alarm, woke up startled, almost missed the hastily thrown together pastels of the first light as it burned off whatever sleepiness was left from the night before.

I stumbled my way into the shower, shaved, dressed, headed downstairs for breakfast. Lazily watched the coffeemaker go about its duties before realizing that I had burnt my toast and that my cereal was getting soggy.

By the time I finished yet another underwhelming breakfast, I was finally awake. I poured the remainder of my coffee into a travel mug. I could hear her starting the shower, and went outside to get the paper. Stamped on the front page was a massive headline:


The story came packaged with one hell of an ugly mug shot, with the caption ROGER BURGESS.

“Multiple kidnapper.” For some reason this set me off, and I pondered how it could be that someone could perpetrate multiple kidnappings without ever being identified. I ran through the possible scenarios in my mind for a moment, but finally ended up shaking my head, sending that train of thought crashing off the tracks. I picked up the story and read:

“A man suspected of committing multiple kidnappings over the past 20 years was brought into police custody yesterday, following the conclusion of an extensive investigation.

Police revealed the man’s identity as Roger Burgess, whose known aliases include Carlton Greenburg, Joshua Forrest and Jonathan Bender.

Burgess, 57, was arrested in connection with the kidnapping of 13-year old Amanda Haynes, who had been missing for 23 days. Detectives with the state police discovered…”

I skimmed hastily through the article, searching for a how, any indication of how this man could have possibly done this for 20 years.

I found it:

“According to Police Captain Alan Bolland, Burgess used a windowless, soundproof room to house his victims, creating a completely dark environment in which he could operate without having the victim discover his identity.

‘The kidnapper made sure he was unidentifiable by any of his victims,’ Bolland said. ‘That way when he finally set them free for whatever reason, they were unable to come forward and bring him to justice.’

Authorities are still unsure why Burgess decided to release his victims, as he never made any demands and there seems to be no pattern in the timing of their liberations.”

I grimaced as I read the description of those conditions, trying to imagine how it must have felt for Amanda, or anyone else, to be in one totally dark, confined space for 23 days. I shook my head in disbelief.

I put the paper back down on the table and checked the clock. 7:13. If I didn’t leave in the next two minutes I was probably going to be late. Just as I put on my jacket she walked into the kitchen.

She looked at me as she poured herself a cup of coffee, head tilted sideways. “Shouldn’t you have left by now, babe?”

I laughed. “Probably, yeah. I’m in the process now. I just got caught up in this article on the front page of the Journal. Unbelievable stuff.” I pointed to the article.

She nodded as she took a sip of her morning caffeine. “Yeah, I’ll take a look.”

I picked up my briefcase in one hand and my coffee in the other. “Okay here I go.” I walked over and kissed her. “Have a nice day sweetheart.”

She grabbed my jacket as I tried to walk away. “Don’t forget to pick up the hardware we need for the bathroom. I’d like to get that all done this weekend.”

“You’re my savior, darling.” I kissed her again. “Of course, had I forgotten, you would have been my worst nightmare.”

She smiled and pushed me. “You have no idea, hotshot. Get out of here.”

I gave her a goofy look, tipped my imaginary cap and walked out the door backwards, pulling it shut on my way out.

* * * * *

I walked in the door nine and a half hours later to find her sitting in her chair at the kitchen table, still in her pajamas. The coffee cup was shattered on the floor, its once torrid contents long since cooled on the new linoleum.

The front page of the paper was in front of her on the table and she sat staring at it with what seemed like every singular fiber of her consciousness. I put down my briefcase and started taking off my jacket.

“Baby?” She didn’t move. “Sweetheart, you okay?” Nothing.

I pulled out my chair and, avoiding the sharp ceramic fragments of her favorite mug, sat down.

“Okay, I don’t know if Medusa walked in here or what, but you gotta give me something here, babe.” I smiled at her and reached out to rub her back. As my hand got close she jumped out of her chair, sending it sideways onto the floor. She stood up, staring at me.

Heart still racing at the surprise of her sudden movement, I stood up. “Hon, what –”

She held up a hand and stopped me. “You wanted to know why?” She pointed at the paper. “He’s why.”

I glanced at the paper. Roger Burgess’ mug shot stared back.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
No Love, Eminem (feat. Lil Wayne...yes, I'm actually listening to a song with Lil Wayne on it)