Where do I take a listen?

For the love of God,  will someone please tell our country’s overabundance of news folk and talking heads to stop saying Take a listen when they introduce an interview clip, or anything for that matter? 

Take a listen?

Where?

 Where do you plan on taking it, and how does one take a listen? 

(Can I pick any listen I want?)

If the person takes a listen, are they obliged to bring it back?

*********

For my mother, VBK.

The pain is not less

My tear ducts have been to the gym. 

Let me explain. I am 65 and in the process of taking things out of storage. I’m going through boxes and large (sometimes clear, sometimes not) garbage bags. The bags are filled with soft items that mostly turn out to be curtains, fleece blankets, stuffed animals, clothes. Old t-shirts of mine that when held out full, look shockingly small. 

I’m clearly not half the man I used to be.

And then I emptied the contents of a pale cotton bag, maybe a pillow case and a half in size. Out fell a dozen or so neatly folded washcloths,  colors faded, pinks, yellows. Two hand towels. 

I couldn’t place them. 

And then, the coin dropped. They were my mother’s. She committed suicide August 12, 1992. Today is January 17, 2019. No, the pain is not less.

My tear ducts have been to the gym.

Our Congressional Cowards

Most Republican members of Congress are afraid to stand up to Donald Trump, because they might lose their job. Are you kidding me? Lose a job? You really won’t put your job on the line for the good of the country?  Despicable.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, Trump may as well declare himself Putin’s employee. Every decision he’s made of late empowers Putin and others like him and damages our allies. He’s a traitor, in my view.


But let me get back to our congressional cowards. God forbid standing up for the country cost them their cushy jobs.


Firefighters, law enforcement officers, paramedics,  EMTS, the military, Doctors without Borders and those cut from similar cloth, all these people put their lives on the line when they do their jobs. Yet our Congressional Cowards won’t put their job on the line.


You mean, I might not get re-elected and enjoy my perks? You mean, I might not be on TV? I might not be famous? 


Get up off your ass and fight back, fight for us. Remember us? We’re the Americans.

A short story: The grenade

How was he going to write anything if the bent corner of the notebook’s cover kept derailing him? It was pitiful. He was pitiful. He knew this perfectly well. No matter how he placed the notebook on the table, adjusted the light, angled the pen, the triangular shape of the bent corner was still there, causing chaos. 

He could not concentrate. His body felt like a clenched fist. Worse than that. A grenade. He half expected to explode into pieces. First, a bent corner. Then, carnage.

He drank come coffee. It occurred to him that the last thing a grenade should be ingesting is caffeine. Talk about adding fuel to the fire. The thought made him laugh out loud.

Outside his window his neighbor, Shirley, mid-seventies, maven of sweatsuits, enamored with the idea of bellowing absolutely everything she said, asked another neighbor:  “ARE YOU GOING TO THE GROCERY?!” 

It was a wonder the concussive impact of her voice didn’t catapult her neighbor to the grocery on the spot. After all, it was only a half mile away. The grenade heard no response to Shirley’s question. Perhaps the neighbor had been knocked unconscious.

He drank more coffee.

A boy watched from the corner of the room.

The grenade could not see the boy.

The boy was not troubled by the notebook’s bent corner. 

An old man sat in the corner opposite the boy. They could see each other. The grenade could not see them. Like the boy, the old man wasn’t in the least troubled by the notebook’s bent corner. A corner is a corner and a bend is a bend, nothing more, nothing less. 

“Matters of a small frame,” said the old man, in silence. 

In a third corner of the room stood a three-year-old girl. The boy and old man could see her. She could see them. The grenade could not see her. That a bent corner had gotten hold of so much of grenade’s decision-making broke her heart.

The little girl said: “I am his mother. I am stuck here. My mother died too soon. If he could hear me, I would say, I am your mother, you’re safe now. ” Her eyes were tears. She looked at the grenade. “I am your mother.”

The old man and boy watched the grenade. The grenade remained still, staring at the notebook’s bent corner, unaware of the truth surrounding him. He thought he would explode at any moment.