Monthly Archives: July 2013

Forgiveness

He stood there on the doorstep, soaking wet as if he conjured the storm just to appear more pathetic when she opened the door.

She stood in the crack she created by pulling the door open just enough to cover the distance of her shoulders, a gesture to signal an intent to listen, but not an invitation.

He stood in silence. He had a lot to say. Most of it he already said and his intent was to say it again and if there was a way to say it with greater meaning, with a greater sense of promise, he would do it. Still, when the door opened, the practiced words seemed to evaporate.

She looked at him with cautious and hesitant eyes. She bit ever so softly on the inside of her lip. It became a habit over the years that she apparently developed when she was deep in concentration or trying to figure things out. She first noticed it when frosting a cake some time ago.

“I…,” he started.

“Don’t,” she said. “I know.”

He forced his hands deeper into his pockets. “I’m sorry.”

She wasn’t sure how this all landed on her, but the ball, as they say, was clearly in her court. He did some really stupid things. Even now, there was a part of her who wanted to punch him in the face, and she wasn’t taking that off the table, but it was decision time. She was culpable in this too.

She stood in the doorway filling the space between the jam and the door thinking, considering, hoping, debating, cursing, resisting, deciding, redeciding and redeciding again. She took in a very deep breath and looked around him blinking away a tear before slowly opening the door to create an invitation.

As he moved to step inside and out of the rain, he stopped, turned to her and pulled her close.

She hugged him back. Even soaking wet, the greater apology came through.

Maybe she would punch him later.

An Open letter to the new baby of Cambridge

Java wrote with great determination and focus as she was prone to do in these circumstances.

An open letter to the new baby of Cambridge:

Dear new baby of Cambridge:

I don’t know you. Chances are I never will. The knowledge of your existence has been forced into my life, so I think it only fair that I throw a little back your way, although I have no delusions of your ever seeing this or grasping my intent.

First, know that I in no way hold you personally responsible for polluting the world with the news of your presence. From the moment of your conception, now and for the rest of your life you have been and will be news fodder. You will be followed, photographed, hounded, praised, besmirched, coddled, cheered, booed and more ad nauseam. Every detail of your life will be shared publicly and with very few filters. Ask your uncle about that some day. In that regard, I feel sorry for you. Learn to embrace the good days. Today you were being cheered.

According to fairly recent studies, you share your birth date with over 370,000 other babies around the world, but of all those, guess which one – one of nearly 400,000 – garnered worldwide media exposure? That’s you big man. They interrupted Judge Joe Brown just to share the news. The second coming of Jesus could have happened yesterday and nobody would know about it. Come to think of it, Jesus II would probably prefer it that way.

Unlike the others who share your day, your life will be immeasurably different. I can only scarcely imagine how. You were born into royalty, money and opportunity. The majority of your compatriots are likely not nearly as lucky. There are probably some who already face profound poverty, starvation and the scarcity of basic needs like clean water. Your polar opposites. While the world celebrates you and your arrival, the others seem forgotten. I feel bad for them.

It makes me sad that there are so many people who are so interested in you and your existence. Again, not your fault. It’s not that the time, energy, money and bandwidth are wasted, but they could certainly be channeled to something more constructive.

It may sound like I don’t care that you are here. Honestly, I probably don’t. But since you are, I hope you have a very happy, healthy and productive life. And I hope that one day you will do something great with the resources and opportunities at your disposal. I know it’s early yet, but try not to screw up.

If you ever need someone to listen, I’m here for you.

Your friend in the cosmos – Java

Evidence

Detective, Tripp Euclaire bent under the police tape and entered the apartment. As he stood, he surveyed the room. Average. Typical. Little to draw the attention.

“Right this way, sir. At the end of the hall.”

Tripp followed the officer to the far bedroom and stepped just inside the doorway.

“We found her about an hour ago. The M.E. said possible blunt force trauma put her down. It looks like she put up a…”

The officer’s voice trailed off as Euclaire silently raised his hand to stop him from talking. There would be plenty of time for the details. This time was for observance and respect. He stepped closer not realizing the growing clench of his jaw.

She looked like Emily.

Oddly enough, despite the condition of the ravaged room around them, she looked peaceful. Had it not been for the blood spatter across her face someone could believe she was sleeping. His hand gripped the handkerchief in his pocket. He had to consciously stop his arm from wanting to move instinctively to try and wipe the offensive smear from her cheek and forehead. He didn’t know her, but she didn’t deserve this. His hand tightened in his pocket around the cloth, fighting the urge to wipe her face clean. It was the least this poor girl deserved. Still, he knew better. The harsh reality was she wasn’t a poor girl at all now. At this point, to the system, she was coldly and unequivocally…evidence.

Precarious

Chester sat still, enjoying the quiet. Everything was good, for the moment.

He tried to absorb as much of the calm as he could, for once the chaos ensued he would ramp right back up to where the doctor said he should work real hard to avoid. The doctor called it the ‘Red Zone’. Who does that?

For Chester, life was a precarious house of cards – at least in his mind. The reality was his life was probably not as precarious as he imagined. Work was solid. Things with Alice were solid, he thought. Nothing had broken in the last 20 minutes…all good.

Still his mind seemed to live under the perpetual notion that he was always, constantly and forever, one misstep away from unrecoverable disaster. That everything he had, worked for, supported, built, repaired or maintained was all capable of being stripped away from him and he would be defenseless to stop it. He tamped all that down pretty good on the day to day, but there was an ever present, very subtle buzz in the back of his mind that seemed to constantly whisper, “Watch out!” as if he was undeserving, as if he was living someone else’s life fraudulently and he needed to be careful or the jig as they say, would be up. He feared the moment someone discovered the truth, whatever his world was would be destroyed.

Petition

He looked at her and hoped he wasn’t making a face.

She stood on his doorstep young and determined, maybe 19, maybe older, it was hard to tell at that age. She held tight to her clipboard as she quickly ran through her spiel – most of it memorized – before standing quietly and waiting for him to respond.

He hated opening his door for this exact reason.

Ninety-eight percent of the people who wanted him to sign something or join something rarely reflected his personal views. Instead of signing or buying he was often more inspired to give them a good piece of his mind – to help clarify the error of their ways. This time was no different, but he held himself to silence.

She spoke of outrage, but he didn’t see it. He read about the situation himself and at the time he found himself shaking his head, “This is what people are ‘outraged’ over?”

She was clearly moved to action, but it was an action that would result in disappointment for her. The ‘outrage’ was not going to change the magazine cover, or help keep prayer in school or whatever other trivial thing that seems to put a thorn in humanity’s paw for a hot second.

She was a clean cut suburban kid who may be having her first full taste of social outrage. There were so many more things more worthy of her efforts that should not only generate true rage, but make you physically ill once you really understood the depth of the problem. Yet here she was with her petition and her determination. The last true rage she felt was probably aimed at her parents. She’d likely have better luck with a petition about that.

Twins

Passing himself off as twins was way easier than he thought. Of course he hadn’t planned on taking it to this extreme or doing it this long, but once he reconciled the inner ethical qualms of living in a world of blatant duplicity over relative honesty, it just felt right.

Really, what he was doing was just a more literal representation of how most people live their daily lives anyhow. Sometimes, they were worse. His friend Sal had at least four distinct personalities that she could switch to without a moment’s notice. Depending on her mood, you never knew which Sal you would get.

His circumstance required a bit more finesse. It was becoming art really. He knew at some point the game would be called and one twin would have to absorb the other, but until then, the individual lives of Kevin and Klark were in full bloom and the road ahead was filled with possibilities…two lives worth.

Duck

Billington Quackmire enjoyed a regal existence in the pond outside of the Third Pentecostal Human Relief Church and Bank and Trust, Inc.

His presence, and that of his neighbors Jacques and Marie (who pretended to be French, but weren’t) lent a certain post-cardesque charm to the locale, especially on those sunny spring days when everything was in full bloom.

For as long as he could recall, the Quackmires have made this pond their home. The act of charm inducing visual support their job. He often saw folks taking his picture as they left the service. When he was younger, he had trouble with his timing and could be caught with his backside in the air as he searched for food in the subtle murk that lie beneath the water. The others pointed out to him that while practical, the timing was undignified.

With time, he worked it out so that his gallant glide across the water took place as most people were leaving the building. If he timed it just perfectly, he would get just below the beech trees as the sun broke through the leaves with bands of light. It was a hard sight to resist.