The 31st Step


I have suspicions!

Emily has said often I’m the suspicious type. Funny, I never thought I was but since I’m stuck here, I’m kinda suspicious of how I got here, better, why I’m here. Lord knows I’ve had plenty o’ time to figure it out, and of course, I ain’t figured much of anything, but like I said, I’m suspicious.

For instance, why 31? Why not two or two hundred? Could be that 31 puts me about half way to that stop sign, least it looks to be. But what’s the reason for that, I mean, everything stopping and starting again cuz I’m half ways to a stop sign. That doesn’t make any sense.

OK Lord, here I am at 30 steps. I can turn my head around and see my front door, my house and lawn, and out front of me are all the houses lined up along the thin gray gravel snake of a road under a nice, warm sky. That damn stop signs so close I can just ‘bout reach out and touch it, but you ain’t gonna let me near it, are ya? One more step…

And I’m back at the beginning, just right outside my door, standing on the stoop, briefcase in hand, heading for the bus stop that I now figure I’m never gonna see. I don’t have to look at my watch anymore. Done that too many times now. I know it says 7.17 and twenty one seconds, AM, but what it is really doing, is saying nothing, in fact, it’s laughing. Laughing at me for being stupid or something cuz I can’t figure out the mess I’m in. No matter what I do or how I do it, I end up doing the same thing over and over again. Start with my left foot, that don’t work, turn around and try to go back in, that don’t work.

So, I’m thinking, this might not be all about me. Mebbe it’s something bigger, after all, every time I end up back here, that there Robins in the same place peckin in my lawn, the sun hasn’t moved near anywhere across the sky. Then again, if it ain’t ‘bout me, why is it the 31st step always sends me back here, so it has to do something with me, but for the life of me, I can’t figure it out.

What I have figured out, is I’ve done this thirteen times now an’ nothing has changed so I’m gonna stand here for a bit and think about this. Now after thinkin’ ‘bout if for who knows how long, all I can think of is to yell out for Emily, hoping that she hears me.

So, I let her name rip here in the early morning air and I’m thinking it’s loud enough to raise the devil and break all the glass because my lungs are achin’ and my throat’s as coarse can be, an’ I can’t scream nothing any longer. I stop and I wait, and I tilt my head just a bit to the right and crane around the corner in that direction as best I can to the large picture window and there stands Emily, staring out like she was a marble statue or some thing.

I sez her name under my breath, and it comes out a hoarse whisper and then I notice her right eye is all healed up and that strikes me as odd. Odd, cuz that shouldn’t be because when I walked out that front door, that eye was as big and as purple as a beautiful dark night sunset. I know that, cuz I gave her that eye an’ before you go off thinking bad about me, thinking I hit and beat Emily, well, that there just ain’t the case.

See, she tried to say she wasn’t but I heard she was out soakin’ up some drinks with some of her friends last week while I was off on the lakes fishing. I know that because Jim Kendall let it slip that his wife said something to that matter. We was setting getting our haircut, when ol’ Jim mentioned he thought the ladies had a good ol’ time down at the Roadway. When I pressed ‘em on it, he didn’t say nothing more, wouldn’t say nothing more and he just outright clammed up like he knew he already said too much.

I jus’ nodded my head, sayin’ “That’s alright Jim, I unnerstand you don’ wanna make no beans about it. That’s all right if an’ you don’t mind you wife goes about ‘hoaring, but mine ain’t gonna…”

So, like I said, I ain’t in the habit of beating Emily but I ain’t no fool for liars and dammit, she had my fist coming, the way she was lying an all. Don’t care what y’ll think, but no wife of mine gonna be out soakin’ and get a reputation for ‘hoaring.

Looking at her standing in the window here, there’s no trace her eye was ever swollen and purple just before I walked out the front door. Now that, I just don’t get. No doubt, it’s figured in with all the general foolishness of this morning, and it is foolishness, of course. Only question I got, is whose foolishness is this, the Good Lords or  the red man down below, cuz it ain’t mine and it ain’t no other man cuz I know no other man can create this here kind of senseless foolishness, making a man walk 31 steps and then go start all over from the beginning. Course, I got my suspicions and my suspicions usually turn out to be right.

OK, I’m gonna try this one more time…

Take a Little Trip with Me

There’s no easy way out!
C’mon take a little trip with me, walk hand in hand through the storm. Might as well,
your house is burning in the rain.
Will you figure it out? It’s what happens when I write and listen to music.

The Clash, Genesis, ELO, Bon Jove, Scorpion, Paul Mcartney, Queen, the Stones, Creedance, Skynard, Supertramp, BTO, The Who, Steppenwolf, Blue Oyster Cult, War, Fleetwood Mac, Fogerty, Zevon, Petty

C’moearsn, grab your rubbers, toss on your rain slick, and follow me as I slog through the storm. You might as well because there’s really no security setting around your warm, dry abode. You need to come with, get wet, live a little. After all, who are you? Wouldn’t you like to know! Aww, now it’s thundering and we’re late for the light show, c’mon, get with it, you’re late. Late I say. You were born to be wild, to run with the wolfs, to surf the solar winds and you still haven’t got you galoshes on, what’s up with that, natures child? Awww man, you’re never gonna see the morning, see the light and I can’t let that ride, my friend. I love ya too much for that so I’m going to do something I should have done a long time ago. I get it you’re content with getting up and taking the 8.15 to the city, taking care of business but man, that can’t be all that fulfilling, there’s more to life than being productive. Why, because I can, cuz that’s what I do, and when I’m done you’re going to be taking the long way home, old man. All I asked is that you spend a few minutes with an old friend and weather a little storm, and live a little. Your choice was not to do so and I’m fine with that but every choice has consequences and you are not going to like what I offer up. So, before I leave tomorrow, I promise you’ll be remembering me and you might want to be looking for a hotel somewhere out California way. And the thing is, really, the thing is, after I burn you house down and wake you up, we’ll be better friends, you’ll be much happier. I don’t expect you to trust me on that because you wouldn’t even trust me enough to walk through the storm. Now I know you can change your face, change you name, thinking it’ll all be the same, you just won’t be able to hide, will ya cowboy?  I’m not buying that ‘you’ll be true’ crap any more, cuz you just leave me blue and ya know I love you, love the way you walk, love the way ya talk. It’s all funky shit babe, funky music, but that don’t change the show because I still have to rewrite the play, from start to finish. Yea, crazy business, walking in central park under the moonlight, but you have to do it every once in a while for no other reason than to remember who you were is responsible for who you are. Yea, didn’t know that did you? That’s why you’ve got blood on your face, why you’re a disgrace and that’s why you’re going to get rocked, ya got too damn big for your britches, and yep, it has everything to do with love, know what I mean? Don’t even start that fight cuz you know I’m a power load, totally t an t, babe, and if you insist, here I am, like a hurricane, ever see fire in a wind? Think I’m going to let you live while I wither and die, it better matter to ya, cuz I do my damn job well and that’s to open your eyes to the possibility that there’s more than what you can even imagine. Sorry that ya thought all was going all right, that  I’m telling you now black is white and white is black and that you can leave but I won’t let you go. Just so you know, evil woman, you have no one else to blame so get your face on the very next train, I hear you crying, scared and all alone, and you don’t have long…, So should I say or should I go? Yep, I get that you want your freedom, but thunder only happens when it’s raining babe so here I go again and there’s a bad moon a rising, so I hope ya got it all together, because you’re in for nasty weather, like a frigging chinese werewolf reading a menu in the rain, a-hoooooooooooo… Sorry babe, gotta stand my ground, can’t back down, there ain’t no way out.

There’s no easy way out!

We the People

We the people.

Not, We the white, the Christian, the Democrat or Republican.

Not We, the rich. We the men, the educated.

Not We, the natural born citizens.

Simply We the People!

We the people of the United States.

There may be many interpretations of our Constitution, but there is one indomitable fact that can not be disputed, or interpreted differently. We are a nation of people! No matter your social status, your religion, your sexual preference, skin color, cultural heritage, or belief set, you are due the same rights as your neighbor, as every other American citizen.

Any intentional act of our Government to deny one American citizen the rights, that another citizen possesses, is traitorous to our way of life, to our founding fathers, to our Constitution. Any intentional act to court disharmony among the American people, to divide the American people, is Traitorous.

Our founding fathers created a Government of people, by the people, for all the people. A new, fragile concept in the annuals of humanity. A grand experiment that many have sought to subvert, for their own profit, their own ego, their own greed. The American people have stood the trials of such men, of petty men who believe their power, their beliefs, outweigh the concept of a Government of, by, and for the people. The American people have stood against foreign governments seeking to destroy us, and from own own, seeking to impose their will upon us.

We are not a perfect nation. We have treated many, less than others, even less then human, and there are those Americans who find no fault in doing so. That belief, blinds the New Colossus, bringing Liberty to her knees, and is nothing less than a perversion of our Constitution. A perversion used to justify that one has rights, and another does not.

Our Government is not sold to the highest bidder, the rich, the powerful.

Our Government is a nation of people. Not Democrats or Republicans.

We are a nation of people.

Not a righteous people, not a god inspired people, not a religious people, not even a well educated people, or even an exceptional people. We are a flawed people. Out of many, we are one. One striving to find something better for all, a place for all to call home, with equal protection, with equal rights, for all people.

We strive to move forward, we try to be better. Sometimes we fail, and the world laughs.

But it is to America the world has come to watch, for in our Constitution, there is something for all humanity.

We the people.






What you believe
What you think
What you know

Unless you’ve happened
Along some great truth
You’d care to share

I’ll share

Chances are
you’re wrong

Never listened
Never learned
All you got
Is what you’ve

been told.

Parents, Friends
Relatives, Politicians

All profound truths

That pale in comparison
to thought, to knowledge
to action, to compassion
to Experience.

Truth from someone
who has never ventured
from their safety
from their warmth
from their family

yet in their world
They know the world
as it is.

Their truth.


A Common Man

common-manThere was a time when I thought I would change the world. Not could, but would, as in that was my sole purpose for being born. For a very long time, I believed in destiny, in fate, in God and in myself. So much so, I thought myself somewhat special. Not special in the sense that I was better, but special in that I had a specific job to do. Specific and special, assigned by God (or perhaps by aliens but that’s a different story) to make the world a better place.

I’ve always had a personal view of how the world should be laid out, along political, social, cultural and religious veins and the relationship of each, to the other, and to the body. Always thought my ideas were somewhat solid, even if they were somewhat simplistic but I think it’s a fair and substantive question to ask if a Nation should seek respect before power, if belief proceeds needs and determines ritual, if education enhances compassion, and in what way?

30 years ago, I really believed that by the time I was in my fifties, we’d have a moon base, moved on to Mars, beaten back poverty, experience the beginnings of a spiritual awakening as well making inroads into prejudice.

I guess I kind of figured the human race didn’t need my input. That you’d all be alright, that you’d get to where you need to be with out my help. I kind of haven’t worried about humanity for the last 30 years as I went about raising my kids, working and having fun but a funny thing happened the other

I woke up!

I realized I really don’t like the world we’ve made for ourselves simply because I know we can do better, a hell of a lot better. Thing is, I’m a dreamer, and I do happen to believe that dreams do come true, but I’m also smart enough to understand, that they don’t come true without hard work, sweat, hard faith and diligence.

Maybe my destiny is still in play? May be, that I’m not a common man?

And You?

Where our Children go

ben-waardenburgThe monster watched, silently, perched on a thick oak branch in the middle of a cloud filled night. A night as dark, as dank and heavy as the beings own soul, weighed down by acts as grievous as committed by any evil and wayward man. Watched as the light extinguished itself, thinking a singular thought, soon.


Mom, Dad, please find me, help me, I don’t know where I’m at. I’m tired, I’m cold, it’s like I’m in a really small cold bathtub with the lights out. I can scream but no one hears, no one comes and now I can’t scream anymore. I’m scared. Whatever happened is bad, I know it’s bad but I don’t know what it is.


Oh, it’s cold but the water seems to be thicker and it’s harder to move around, it’s like the bathtub just keeps getting smaller and smaller, and there’s a smell, a bad, god awful smell. My head hurts, not my head, my mind, it hurts to think. Every time I think of you mom, dad, it hurts me in my head. Why is that?


I’m not afraid anymore.

The cold clammy crap that I woke up in is a lot warmer now and I just feel a lot better. The thing is, I don’t remember a lot of what was before I came here. I know I had a mom, a dad and a kid sister. I remember their faces but I can’t remember their names. Maybe cuz their names was Mom, was Dad and Sis.

Why can’t I remember that?

I remember Moms’ stew though, don’t know why. Fact is, the crap I’m in keeps reminding me of it, thick and chunky, warm, soothing, stinky just like Moms stew. Stunk of a smell that I could never figure out, but it was a damn awful smell. Me and sis used to joke about it, sly looks, funny faces when Mom served it up, all behind her back of course.

At least I think we did.

See, the thing is, I know nobody’s coming to help me, that I’m stuck in this little place filled with stinky, chunky crap and I’m okay with that. Okay because I’m not scared anymore because I don’t know what I’m supposed to be scared of. I think I did a little bit ago, I think that’s why my throat is sore, because I was yelling, screamin’ for help but like I said, that was a long time ago and no one is coming and I don’t know why they would, ain’t nothing to be scared of, can’t ‘member why I woulda been screaming.

I’m missing Mom’s stew though, not because I’m hungry. I’m not hungry, not hungry because I have all this crap I’m in that just kinda comes into my skin and finds a a way to keep my stomach full. I’m just missing the stew.

I liked stew.

Something else about the stew but can’t remember right now. I think it’s because I’m sleepy. Maybe if I close my eyes for just a little bit, I’ll wake up and think of stuff that I shouldn’t be forgetting.


Like a flipboard, images came and went, appearing, lingering than dissolving into the another. A small thin boy standing over home plate with a Christmas bat. Pizza, Birthday cakes, back yards, faces, bicycles. Pictures without a foundation but all with a lingering sense of unknown importance.


I’m changing!

I’m larger or the space is smaller, but I think I’ve grown, and grown a lot. I can’t really feel my legs anymore and something is protruding out of my back, right where my shoulder blades are. The thick chunky stuff is thicker than before I fell asleep, it’s harder to mover around in so between the thickness of whatever I’m in and my growing spurt, there’s not a lot of room for movement. That doesn’t bother me, I’m not in pain, my muscles aren’t sore and there’s a sweet smell, a nice, comforting smell that I think makes all the discomfort of being in a small space, disappear.

I really quite like it here.

The only disturbing thoughts are when sleep comes and strange faces and places come and go. I find them bothersome because I feel like I should know something about them, but they are nothing more than dreams. Those dreams do leave a strange, lingering feeling of unease, but I have managed to toss those aside.

I much rather think about what I am, what I am becoming. I’m not sure, but I bet it’s going to be something wonderful.


I can barely move, most of whatever water or whatever it was that I have spent my life in, is gone, solidified into a hard shell, like a cocoon. For the first time, I’m able to hear other sounds, outside the shell, sharp, cracking sounds like something priceless being shattered into a thousand pieces. And the light, there’s just a glimmer of light and even though I don’t know where it’s coming from, it’s calling me, as faint as it is, that glimmer is welcoming me.

And I have a strange feeling, a yearning.

No, it’s a hunger.


I have to get out of here. My hunger is going to kill me if I don’t. Maybe if I press my body hard enough against the shell, use my head to push on the cocoon, maybe, just maybe.

It hurts to push against the shell but the pain is nothing compared to the agony calling, begging for fulfillment.

Oh, a crack, there in front of me. I’ll work my head against it. It’s getting bigger, a dim, shallow light is pouring in through the hole, I can see out. It’s almost big enough to get my head out, I can get my head out. It’s a struggle, but I can work my whole being out of this place, I can get free, I can feed.

But what is this dim, dark place where I am one of many. Where have my brothers gone, to what distant places have they traveled and left me here alone with those who still sleep in their shells.

Now I see, far above, a small bright light and I spread my wings and realize I am free to feed my hunger as I leave the remnants of those broken shells behind and care for nothing of  those who remain.


The monster watched, silently, perched on a thick oak branch in the middle of a cloud filled night. A night as dark, as dank and heavy as the beings own soul, weighed down by acts as grievous as committed by any evil and wayward man. Watched as the light extinguished itself, thinking a singular thought, soon to spread his wings and feed.