Sunday, April 10, 2011


…I have a new story, "Sightless" up at 52/250 A Year of Flash and also here under "Words in Print."

…Today is the Sabbath, the day of rest, but for me today is about being strong and focused. I have been trying to be strong. Today. All day, I have.
If you could see me, you would not think I am so strong. At least not physically. I am lean, thin really. I doubt that I could bench press 100 lbs. Truly. I doubt it. Heavy sacks of sugar or potatoes are often difficult for me to load and unload from the auto. Still, I do pushups and I empty the dishwasher. That's enough weight-lifting for me. I make myself useful even if I cannot be stronger.

…Once I did an Alice In Wonderland inspection of myself and I discovered that I am made up of string, tarnished rings and broken things. I have a gory center. Walking around in it is like sloshing through muddy water with rusty swales. It is not an activity to be undertaken without adequate boots.
Everyday now, I am getting less pretty, less taut. You may say, "But that is called the aging process, it happens to all of us," and you would be incorrect. Some people are getting prettier. Right now, many millions of folks are. You, for instance. You're more beautiful each time I see you.
When I was younger, I hid in corners. I learned to get good at the act of hiding. It became a survival technique. My favorite was a bathroom no one used. Even though the shower curtain was ratty and the air smelled briny, I would hover over a heat vent and read my library book. I read so much. I live in a big house now, with lots of heat vents all over the place, some even in the ceiling. They are good reminders. Like metal, striated scars.
I think I am not so different or so alone in all this. I think that we are all, all of us, the things we've done and the things that have been done to us. We are the imprints of the people we've ever loved, the people we've always wanted to love.
We are trips in cars late at night. We are stained clothing. We are ideas and spilled blood. We are pressed shirts and big, juicy messes. And I, well, I am messier than most.
I try not to feel sorry for myself, though, because really, what's there for me to complain about? I have a very nice view out my window. I can see ducks and cool blue lake swells and some bored fishermen on their broken boat. Across the way, the wind is making the evergreens greet me with waving limbs.
Life is beatiful. Well, isn't it?

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