Archive | May 2012


I stood in the center of what had been our kitchen. No refrigerator hummed. No lights flickered. The faucet in the sink still dripped and its tympani resounded in the otherwise silence. And the realization hit me like a bag of ice. This was the day. The last day.

I inhaled, taking in as much of this place as my lungs could hold. Making last ditch memories of the aromas that lingered. The grease and delectable edibles that mother had provided to fill and nurture us. With my eyes closed I could faintly hear her voice in the place that was her home for longer than I could ever have hoped.

The dog’s dish sat empty. Her toy peeking from beneath the stove. The cuckoo clock intoning the passing of time, reminded me to get along with it. I followed the sound into the dining room.

The rug had been crisply steamed looking out of sorts for a house that held my five brothers and sisters, a Grand-father, and my parents. Not the worst for wear, hungry for furniture to repossess their positions; all a bad joke. I could hear my breathing loudly; the rest of our former home sat silent.

I peeked into Mom and Dad’s bedroom. Hoping to find their memory replaced by their presence, but only the essence of them lingered. I fingered the wall sconce; too elegant for our humble homestead. Into the living room I wandered.

Dad’s mural continued to hang on the far wall, framed and illuminated, offering a sense of peace in this harried visit. Paneled on one wall; faux brick on the other. Dad had his peculiarities. I will miss these the most.

One last stop. Into the double rooms my brothers and I shared. These memories hung the thickest. Recollections of talks and adornments that meant the boys were home and the world was right. But sadly, not tonight. Another chime; had another hour passed so quickly?

Nothing else to see. All memories stored safely in my heart and head. I pull the door closed behind me one more time. The wood made a solid sound. It was secured. Down the three steps to the back door landing, I’m standing inches away from never seeing her again. This door settles softly against the jamb. My hand clutching a hearty refusal to release the knob. My key slides in too easily; it turns too quickly.

I remove the key for the last time out of the door of my father’s house. I drop the key through the mail slot and beat a hasty retreat down the drive. I don’t look back as tears flow.



He held her gently. Non-possessive. Unassuming.


He held her gently. Non-possessive. Unassuming. Willing to let her be as free as she needed to be; to make her feel wanted.

His caresses were gentle, barely a touch. It was more like a sensation that gave her a sense of security without any strings. No fences could enclose her. No heart could hold her. She was a rare flower with fragile petals. She was a frightened bird who rested in his trembling hands. Barely a touch held her. No enclosure surrounded her. She was free to fly. He loved her; he had to set her free.

And in her freedom she found security. In his hands she felt so free. He loved her so!


Natalia and Walentyna both yearned to gain Pavel’s favor.

The Minsk Theater of Youth had come to the Academy to perform for the young children of the town of Dimitriov. The young ones were brought into the amphitheater and filled the seats row after row.

Pavel Popolov knew the show would be very exciting, having traveled to Minsk with Mama and his older sister, Olga. But the young man’s dilemma was one of the heart. For you see, Pavel was an eight year old Lothario. The young girls in the neighborhood were taken in by his charming smile and wide inquiring brown eyes. And there was no mistaking, Pavel enjoyed the attention.

Natalia and Walentyna both yearned to gain Pavel’s favor; to savor his candy sweet demeanor. Pavel could not decide between the two. He liked them both.

But such serious decisions were not in a hurry to be made. Pavel knew that nature would provide the answer to his “problem”.

During the puppet show, Pavel sat between Natalia and Walentyna, just as he had planned. The children were delighted by the antics of Popo and Mishka, the cat and mouse, but especially Pavel. He remembered when he had seen the show previously there was a frightening part where Popo tries to eat his little rodent adversary.

Laughter filled the hall and the show neared conclusion. Just as Popo opened his mouth and headed toward Mishka Pavel feigned fear and clutched at both girls hands, thinking that the one who did not pull away would be the girl for him. But best laid plans of Mishkas and little Russian boys sometimes go astray.

Pavel felt both young ladies lean into him and grab his hand tightly. Still, Pavel could not make a choice. But he did not care. His Uncle Ivan was happy with many girlfriends. Why would Pavel need to decide?


 “The man with an idea is a fool, until the idea succeeds.”
The Adventures of Mark Twain


Larry sat behind his dark mahogany desk in his plush leather chair. His inbox was empty and his outbox strained under the weight of the orders with which they had problems keeping pace.

Pictures of his lovely bride, Earleen and his two trapping boys, Earsol and Larry Jr., sat on the corner of his work area. Right in front sat a placard; a quotation. It read: “The man with an idea is a fool, until the idea succeeds.” Larry thinks it came from “The Adventures of Mark Twain”, although Earleen could have sworn Gramdpa Penfold came up with it.

He looked around his well appointed office. It reeked of success. His wife was skeptical of his business plan, but there is no arguing with the upgrade from the trailer park. A fool idea, she called it. The world’s not ready for a Left-handed Framistan, she said.

The company makes the Fortune 500 on Tuesday. Who’s the fool now?


Henri took the edge of the platform and leaped into a beautiful swan dive.

Henri Bouchard was a daring gent. He was hell bent on thrilling people with his feats of daring-do. It wasn’t so much a death wish, but a horrible case of hiccups.

Madame Bouchard, Henri’s mother always used this tactic with his father whenever his hiccoughs got out of control. She would sneak up from behind and scare the bejeebers out of him.

“Scare a terrible fright, or else you’re up all night!” she would usually remand.

Henri was taken back by high places. His knees would knock and his hands would sweat. His eyes twitched and he found it hard to breathe. But his worst tic came in the form of a bad stammer.

This was a disturbing malady. For when he performed his high wire act, he wore a parachute with the instruction to count to five before pulling the rip chord.

His first jump, was his last jump. Henri took the edge of the platform and leaped into a beautiful swan dive. The audience stared in disbelief when they heard Henri’s countdown.

“W-W-W-W-W-W-One…, T-T-T….


Winifred had planned her escape.

A hundred or so balloons tied to her waist and pockets of stones as ballast. She needed to escape; to release from her earthly confines and head for parts unknown, like that movie with the old man and the cub scout. She knew she needed out.

She stopped at the market everyday for a week and came home with twenty balloons at a time. When Saturday came, she was ready. Out of the chimney, she climbed, rubber air pockets secured. She stood near the brick protrusion and started to drop stones out of her pockets.

One by one the pebbles skittered down the asphalt. She didn’t feel any lighter. The right pocket was nearly empty. She started on the left for balance. Those stone ran out just as fast. And her rear pockets.

She kicked off her right shoe; then her left. She removed her arms from her blouse and shimmied it down to her ankles where she stepped out of it.

She was almost airborne. All she had remaining were her shorts (and unmentionables). Winifred swore she would stop before she had to resort to that.

She dropped her pants and lifted off of the roof. The wind had been stiff enough to carry her to the end of the roof and southward toward the park. She was on her way. She just never figured in the trees!


I witnesses as the heavy fog misted off of the lake surface.

Hunting ghosts is a hobby. I’ve gotten good at it; I’m the man they call for the tough jobs because I don’t take no shit and frankly, I don’t give a shit either. Gil Hodges is my name and yes, my father was a baseball fan. I am just thankful he hadn’t insisted on calling me Babe or Ruth for that matter.

There was this amusement park near where I grew up, a quaint little wayside place in Ontario, Canada. Crystal Beach it was called; its a condominium complex now. Even the beach part is a bygone memory. I lost a lot of time on that white sand. Kept a lot of memories there. And my virginity if I recall correctly. (I do remember correctly.)

The residents of the complex had major concerns about their little paradise. It serves them right. Who the hell were they to step on a man’s history?

In the old park, standing colossal on the edge of Lake Erie was this monster of a roller coaster. It was the “Comet”. Not being a big coaster rider, I lost many a fine lunch on her steep drop. But I digress.

It seems the old girl still runs. Or to hear the residents tell, it still does. Late at night, they are aroused by the rattle of the chain, the creak of the wooden frame and the vibration of the very foundation on which the condominium complex stands. And the screams. They are awoken by the screams.

Standing on the edge of the walkway, I witnesses as the heavy fog misted off of the lake surface. It rose to a towering height. Three, four, five stories tall as if the entire parcel of land was engulfed in smoke.

Around 2:30 am, the mist still hanging thickly, I saw what appeared to be a wooden frame of sorts. Right where the Comet perpetrated her terror. There was a slight tremor. A more violent shake. The rattled and creaks were
ear splitting. When the screams began, I turned tail out of there. Ghosts, schmosts I never did like roller coasters.