Category: Short Stories


An Aging Woman.


From my Gran, Sheila Ross-Kuhn on Writerscafe.org:

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As a woman of a certain age, (56) I find life to be amazing again. Our children are grown. I had a long, dark, struggle with empty nest syndrome for a few years, but, that is over now. Our grandchildren fulfill all of my nurturing needs at this point. I feel happy in this role, happy and useful but not worn out and overwhelmed, our children are wonderful parents, there is much to be said for that.

I no longer go to work. I can spend the day doing exactly what I want now. In the warm months, I love to take long walks in nature, I relish rambling through the woods in my kacki shorts and hiking boots, one silver braid slug across my shoulder, tied loosely with a ribbon. I enjoy taking photos of the often unnoticed subtle processes of nature. The first green bulbs of spring, the sun splashed fields of colorful mountain wild flowers, the first fallen leaf of the season or the first frosted patch of pumpkins.  Wonders. Balance. Life ending to begin again. I stop and linger in the woodlands and the wetlands for as long as I like. Sometimes I lay down pressing my heart to the damp forest floor, feeling the divine energy flowing into me, renewing my body and soul.

I love the quiet simple intimacy of cooking nearly effortless meals for two adults in the evenings. It took some getting used to, after raising a family and being careful to cook large, complete meals for them, but, now it’s a pleasure to shop and cook simply.

No, I am not as pretty to look at as I once was. My long, dark, sable colored hair is a bright and earnest sterling color now. I stopped dying it years ago. What freedom that was!  My face and body are not pert, but, I like my bones, I always have. I eat well, I move my body, I still love to dance in the living room in the afternoons for exercise…it’s funny to watch I would imagine, (thankfully I am alone when I dance like that) but, I’ve noticed that when I dance until I sweat, I feel young, energetic, sexy and free, I feel wonderful for the rest of the day and I sleep like a baby!

I am a normal weight and I no longer diet. I simply eat whole foods from nature. I stopped eating/drinking junk food, sodas, coffee, sugary snacks, animals and animal secretions  awhile back for spiritual reasons, and when I did that, I lost a whopping forty pounds. That was nice!

I had given up high heels around age forty-five as my weight gain at mid life was making me walk unnaturally, now, with the weight off,  I can easily wear pretty high heels again whenever I want to feel sexy for a date with my hubby, who happens to be a leg man. That’s very nice too!  There is nothing like pretty underwear, sheer stockings, a little black dress and high heels to make one feel instantly, smart, feminine and attractive. I still get warm, lingering “looks,” from strangers sometimes, (my husband notices and smiles to himself) although admittedly, the looks I get now are mainly from more “mature” admirers. I generally smile back at them, because I gratefully appreciate what I can get, I am not a flirt but I can appreciate a lingering glance in my direction, I am not dead yet!

Frankly, I find the revival of our “spontaneous sex” to be a very happy event as a post menopausal woman. There are no bloody periods accompanied by moodiness and/or bloating, why anyone would dread the idea of no more periods? I have no idea! I do not take an estrogen replacer, I don’t need to. Nature provides if one remains sexually active, like they say “if you don’t use it honey, you lose it” this is oh so true, no joke.

I’ll never have a face lift, a boob lift or a tummy tuck, I like my “stuff” exactly as it is. I don’t need anyone’s “approval” any longer. I respect my body as a holy canvas that tells the story of this woman’s life.  My husband seems to respect this body as well, as he continues to be very interested in its responses to his affections. This is quite a nice phase of life, at least it is for this aging woman.

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The Last Rose Of Summer.


From my Gran, Sheila Ross-Kuhn:

Yesterday we were traveling. We were in the mountains when we decided to get off of an exit in Beaver Creek, WV to have a cup of coffee and a biscuit for breakfast. The sign told us that the McDonald’s was 1.5 miles after a right turn off of the interstate ramp.We made the turn and found ourselves winding down a country road that looked like we were headed to someones barn, about half way down the hill, a state trooper sat hidden like a snake in the grass, ready to nab himself a hungry traveler, thankfully, we were within the speed limit. When we got to overcrowded McDonald’s at the bottom of the hill, we quickly realized that everyone in Beaver Creek had a similar idea for their Sunday breakfast plans. We sat in line for a long time, we chatted and talked to the three little old dogs we had taken along, they were interested in a little breakfast as well, these guys are well-traveled and can smell a drive through from the Interstate. Time rolled on, cars were not moving.

There was a gray-bearded man in a small red truck in front of us, a hugely happy Golden Retriever’s smiling head filled and escaped his open drivers side window. We sat some more, no car moved, the time for breakfast was passing, the mans dog sat on the passenger’s side for a time and then came across and stuck his big happy head out once again to check out the situation. Finally, the cars began to move slowly, but we were still far from to the front of the line. Out of the blue, the man with the gray beard opened the door of the small red truck, the doors hardware must have been rusted for it made a loud sound, which grabbed our attention hastily. He began to run toward the drive through window. we looked at one another nervously, neither of us saying a word, but both of us visualizing him shooting up the place, it had been a long wait, perhaps he had flipped out or something. You never know what is going on in the mind of who is driving the car in front of you. Who was this mad man with the rusty door and the happy dog?

He was wearing a dirty work coat, heavy work boots, the type of clothing that a laborer getting of off midnight shift in a mine or a plant might wear, his beard was a tad scraggly. The happy dog was sitting very calmly in the passenger side, even though the door was wide open, the motor was running. Time froze. Our mouths were open, I was clutching one little dog, my husband had another in his arms, one, the feisty one, was quarreling like a restless child from the back seat. The wild man ran on and came to a screeching halt right beside of the drive through window, his arms and legs stopped dead as he gracefully reached one large hand up to ever so delicately pluck a single perfect red rose from a weathered and fast fading rose-bush nestled in the landscaping. He tenderly and carefully plucked the last lovely rose of Summer from the prickly bush, and then ran swiftly back to his red truck and happy dog. He slid in to the seat of that truck with the smile of a mischievous child on is face. The big gentle red dog met him with a wagging tail. He slammed the door with a force that jarred my teeth. My husband and I looked at one another and smiled. I asked my husband to take a photo of the women handing his food out of the drive through window. We drove another hour and a half speculating about who the rose was for, a girl friend, a woman he barely knew at the grocery store, a wife, a daughter, a male lover, his mother, so many possibilities…. and how he might present the last rose of summer to that special someone.

News From Linda!!!!


From Alex Sandra:

Our beautiful girl is still doing brilliantly in her new home. Yayyyyyyy!!!! A BIG hug to the new family and do give Linda a hug from me every single day.

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Coping With Grief.


From Bob Whiley(Sheila’s alias on FB):
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Grief is a process that is never truly complete on this side of life. For instance, we were out shopping at the after holiday sales when I spotted a mother and her teenaged daughter. The girl was lovely, she was slender with flowing auburn hair, she had a lovely face and she was wearing pretty clothes. She looked to be around 17 and she radiated life and health. She and her mother were happily gathering tree ornaments from the sale bins and I couldn’t take my eyes off of them, it was as if I was in a trance. Then, I heard the daughter say “Oh look Mom, these will be great for next year.” For a moment, I felt sad and admittedly, even a little bitter. I moved on.

When we got to the car, I told Kent the story of the pretty girl and her mother, then, almost to myself, I commented. “How nice it must be to be that confident of next year coming, to have that kind of innocense of life” he looked at me as he does sometimes, with an expression of understanding and terrible knowing. Then, I caught myself, and for a moment, it was like all of my pain fell into my lap and I could look down upon it all lying there, so heavy, and so tiring. That’s when I took a deep breath and said to him. “I am so happy for that mother and daughter, I hope they never learn that sometimes next year doesn’t come.” He nodded with tears in his eyes and we sat there in bonded silence for a moment. I would call that progress, at least on some level.

So if you wonder how we could have gone through what we have gone through and still, it appears that we live in a constant state of elation, especially when the moment involves Bobber or Mandy or our grandsons, or why we take/post 15 pictures when one would suffice, this is why, it is because we understand that every moment is a priceless gift, that every small adventure is a bright blessing, that every tender mercy within every tender moment that is shared with family and with each other is a big beautiful exciting crazy exceptional excellent miracle. An angel taught us this.

Why I Dearly Love My Gran…


Emmy Award

Emmy Award (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A lot of you may not know this, but my wonderful Gran, Sheila, co-author here on the portal, lost her beautiful daughter Miss Emmy at the tender age of twenty-two(Miss Emmy was). Her passing is mourned by many, who knew this darling young woman and even by those who didn’t, including yours truly.

My Gran and her fabulous husband Kenny have comforted each other through it all, have loved one another to a fault and have been there for each other and, I might add, for any needy soul, who comes into contact with them(again including yours truly!).

My admiration and gratitude for this couple knows no bounds and I would like to share one of my dear Gran’s soulful stories with you all. Here’s me taking my hat off to you and Kenny, Gran!

I’ve put my Gran’s story in a separate post:

http://ralphiesportal.me/2013/12/29/coping-with-grief/

A Story of Trees.


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From askchristy.tumblr.com

By Ralphie:

In the beginning there were the trees and then came man, who got permission to eat from their bounty, till his belly was full and round and to breathe the air that they produce, that he might be healthy and strong.

Around came the first winter and man fashioned clothes for himself, so as not to freeze for the icy cold wind brought by Father Winter. But being forgetful, forgot to make some for his friends, the trees, who stood there naked and cold and would have perished, had it not been for our mother.

Mother Nature, ever watchful, noticed the oversight and imbued their sap with little rays of spring, that carry within them the promise of beautiful blossoms and juicy fruit and protected them for evermore from freezing solid by the harsh winds, sent forth by the Master of Cold.

This potential for greatness of the trees, was a testament to the Mother and should never be forgotten by man, who forgets so easily.

Visitors Tomorrow!


1004993_599883146738010_1924202073_nOnce upon a time there was a homeless guy in Spain and two dear people took pity on him and took him into their holiday apartment for a couple of nights and they stayed friends over the internet. They had been on vacation and, of course, went home afterwards.

About a year later the homeless guy returned home and got his life more or less sorted out, but this was in a different country than the couple. Some time went by and then, all of a sudden, the young lady of the couple suggested they come to meet him again.

And tomorrow is the day that I meet my dear friends Agnes and Rick again. And there’s more, I can invite them into my humble abode and offer them coffee, this time. We shall make a big day of it and merriment shall be had all round. Yippie, my friends are coming over and I can’t wait to see them. Love you guys!

Update:

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It was truly a wonderful day and I was soo happy to meet my friends again. We visited the city and went to the Christmas market and they invited me for lunch, which was yummy! I have promised to paint their portrait for them and will certainly keep that promise. Thanks for the visit, Agnes and Rick!

 

A Journey Through Time.


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File:Dommersen Gothic cathedral in a medieval city.jpg – Wikimedia …

Dimly lit alleys, where orphans seek a thrown away crust in disease-ridden, filthy gutters, spat on absent-mindedly by fat, ugly merchants, the salt of the Earth, the salt in the wounds of injustice after injustice, inflicted upon the poor.

Mothers, tired to the bone, eye their offspring with dread, thinking of the sad futures held in store for the laughing sprouts, who unaware, still revel in their innocence.

A peasant bows his head before his Lord and Master, his blood seething with righteous anger and frustrated beyond measure for his inability to change his lot. His existence an endless sequence of somnamtribulations and loud bingeing, in a vain effort to forget his sorry state, but wait… some day!

Priests, a picture of piety and at times even of sobriety, promise salvation in exchange for gold, gold and more gold. Their Lord weeping at the sight. Altar boys to do their bidding, in and out of church. And dour nuns, who dearly love their Saviour, but despise all the world.

Noblemen, called gentle for some inexplicable reason, fight their wars for reasons known only to them. Doing their utmost to make life a living hell for their serfs, who, undeservedly, shall see the kingdom of God in the afterlife and should by all rights be made to pay for it in this one.

Each to his station, dearhearts, and money makes the world go round, the world go round, the world go mad…

Left For…


Little Teddies

Little Teddies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I was all but three years of age, I had a special friend called Karen. I knew that there was something special about her, amongst others the fact that she was not a boy. Don’t ask me how I knew this, I just did. I think it was something in her eyes, when she gazed at me. We used to talk about small things, but they were important to us, because in our heads we shared them. We could also sit for ages, just holding hands, feeling special for being together.

Until one day she left me for Mister Teddy! I used to like Teddies, before Karen and if I am completely honest, even during Karen. But since that fateful day I don’t, not anymore. She told me it was because he understood things about her that I didn’t and all this without even telling him. I asked how could she tell. She said just by the look in his eyes. I implored her to look into mine and see that I did understand… really, but sadly… I didn’t.

Mister Teddy was the first one to break my heart and I’m still trying to forgive him. Maybe some fine day I will and then he can sleep next to me again. After all, it’s been awhile now…

To Say Yes Or Not…


Godzilla Generations: Maximum Impact

Godzilla Generations: Maximum Impact (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A gorgeous lady of long-standing and whom I fancy, comes up to me and says:”Would you like to have sex with me?”

I answer:”That depends. Is this all you’re looking for?”

She states:”At the minute, yes!”

I lob her the following:”In that case, I choose not to know what I’m missing. Thank you.”

She gets mad and goes:”You must be joking. I’ve seen the way you look at me. Are you a man or a mouse?”

Refusing to play this game, I answer:”I suppose I’m a mouse then. Cheerio!”

The next day we meet again and she greets me with a loud:”Hello, mickey!”

To which I joyously shout:”Well, if it isn’t Godzilla, the man-eater!”

She is not impressed, for some reason, but still asks:”Why did you refuse me yesterday?”

I answer:”Well, I’m half in love with you already and if we were to have sex and my feelings for you blossom into a raging fire, only for you to consequently say that it had been very nice and that you might see me again some day and Ciao! Then I would be royally fucked, wouldn’t I?”

“But now you’ll never will be royally fucked, because that was a one time offer!”

“Fine!” I say, “Have a nice life and goodbye!”, which made her angry again. I don’t think I will ever fathom what women are about…

Ladies, any comments? Gents, you can put your two cents’ worth in aswell.

 

It’s MINE!!!


Paper Heroes Location 2

Paper Heroes Location 2 (Photo credit: roadkillbuddha)

Just when you thought you’d already seen the summum of sarcasm, you had to stumble onto this bit of crap, didn’t you! You poor misguided sceptical sod, you thought you’d read or heard the lot, well… didn’t you? Forget about it! Let me put you out of your delusional misery. Or not. Actually, I think you should move your petty attention span somewhere else, because this will not be pretty! I’m warning you. Piss off, right now.(notice the absence of an exclamation mark behind this succinct piece of advice). Are you still here? Do you insist on being mortified? Alright then,here we bloody well go. –> here or here.

I, Ralphie A Burcke, do by this piece of paper(transcribing now) declare that I was walking down a certain derelict avenue, when I happened to stumble onto (the now late) gentleman, whose name shall be left out of this epistle for judicial purposes, who had in his possession a loaf of bread. Being hungry, I said that I would like some, thank him very much, but the arsehole disagreed. (Again, notice the absence of an exclamation mark(I’m trying to restrain myself)). When I inquired why he would not part with at least part of this loaf of bread, he told me, and was rather adamant about it, that he had a piece of paper which proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this loaf was his. He proceeded to show me the receipt of a supermarket, which one shall remain a mystery to you. I asked, rather sensibly I thought, whether the tree had objected, to which he tuttutted me and asked in an exasperated tone if I knew of any trees that spoke English. Nope!However, yours truly was not born yesterday, nor the day before. Actually quite a large number of yesterdays ago and I happened to have on me a small notebook and a pen. With thwarting this dastardly loafhugger’s plans aforethought, I wrote on a piece of paper:” Half of this loaf of bread ->(thataone) is indisputably , unequivocably and irrevocably the source of sustenance of Ralphie A Burcke, period.”(notice the period!) And I signed it, just for good measure. This stumped him!(notice exclamation mark)

Next this unbeliever took out his gun and declared his intention of terminating my loaf-less existence, but the cretin had neglected to take into account the presence of mind of the son of Misses Burcke! I asked if I could see a piece of paper, which stated indubitably that said gun was in actuality his. He turned red and admitted that he had acquired it from some shady fellow. To cut a long story short, I confiscated the gun and shot the bastard with it, Not because I am, paper-wise, in the habit of shooting people with their own(sic) guns, but because the idiot was starting to annoy me (and I was slightly pekish). Anyways, I ended up with a loaf of bread and a gun. I did write a little note, in my little notebook, in which I gave the tosser permission to pass on to whichever dimension would welcome his sorry arse. I pinned the note to his forehead. Are you dimwits with me so far? If you really insist on being tormented some more, so be it.

I was shuffling and munching along, when I met my second victim. Strange how these soon-to-be daisy-pusher-uppers seem to cross my path. It must be karma, theirs or mine. A mentally deficient gentleman invited me into his home. I use the personal pronoun ‘his’ loosely here, very loosely indeed, I’m sure you understand! When I asked what on earth made him think that this particular abode was his, he showed me a piece of paper and true enough, it stated that it was his, which I let pass for that instant, because pieces of paper and myself are no strangers, remember? I decided to hear what the fool had to say for himself. He confided in me that his ancestors had come with a piece of paper, which stated that this continent of America was in actuality theirs. When the natives objected, they shot the lot, minus a couple whom they corralled in a penitentiary. I asked, why on earth did these fools not recognise the validity of your piece of paper? He told me they were utterly stupid and had the ludicrous notion that the earth should be shared by all living things. Well… good riddance to this lot!

The television was on at that time and some black dude came on, saying that he had loads and loads of pieces of paper, which stated that he was the boss and that everybody should do as he said. Nuff said(paper included). Whereupon the guy who had invited me in told me that the one on TV’s grandpappie used to be his. I asked how that worked. He called me an idiot and said that he had heaps of paper to prove it. I stood corrected and looked appropriately abashed. Somehow the black lads had convinced themselves that they were not his but themselves. And all this without a piece of paper, the unmitigating nerve of these people! They had a war but this guys forebears lost, because the other came up with an even BIGGER piece of paper. Fucking fornication, sodomy and gomorrizing all put together. What is this world coming to?

As he was starting to bore me, I proceeded to write a note stating that the house I was in was mine, but this moron objected aswell and took out his gun, for which he did have a piece of paper. There is however more than one way to skin a cat! I asked If I could see the receipt for the bullets and he could not find it. More the fool he, I shot him. When the Missus came home and I shouted:”Honey, I’m home!” she was a mite surprised and so were the kids, but when I showed them the piece of paper all became abundantly clear. I did not really want nor need a family though, what with my new-found wealth. I divorced the lot of them and exchanged everything for a yacht. It was there that I met Mister Milt Bromley or some such name, who claimed to have oodles of pieces of paper with the face of some dead guy on them, green ones. I was not impressed. If he had had a piece of paper with the face of my dear departed Gran or somebody else who was near to my heart, I would have admired him immensely and possibly even have handed over the yacht for it, but for a to me unknown dead geezer!!?? Was he joking?

He did give a warning which I took to heart, namely that with my new yacht, people might become jealous and try to take it away from me with lots of guns. Something had to be done and quickly. I had a mega-brilliant idea! Does not the Peoples’ Republic of China have billions of people with lots and lots of guns? For sure they do! I wrote on a piece of paper that from then on the PRC was MINE, with a Ni hao and a Shishi thrown in for good measure. I asked Mister Misty Romley to witness it and now I am not only the uncle but the undisputed leader of that immense country. Ni hao, you may call me Emperor Ralphie! Shishi and get on with protecting my arse.(and my yacht!) Be warned, all and sundry, if you want to mess with me, I’ll set my yellow fellows on you! They can’t really object, now can they, for do they speak English? Even if they do, bugger them. Do as your leader tells you or else(remember Mao?)

I’d always wanted to score a home run and I decided to go for the whole shebang. First I dug a small hole in the ground with my spoon, for I did not have a little shovel. After that I wrote a little note, saying to old Gaia that although she’d had a good run of it, I would from that moment take charge of the whole planet and everything on it. She protested with some earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and some tsunamis, but I was not impressed, for I had buried the not inside her and even she had to acquiesce to my authority. I am now Leader of the World and all shall bow to me, by the power vested in me by that piece of paper. All hail Ralphie! Anyone who disagrees, remember my yellow fellows!!! It’s ALL mine…

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Little Knight Ralphie.


Picture of Chinese "Dao" Saber
Picture of Chinese “Dao” Saber (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I was a boy, my father sculpted me a sword out of oak wood. It was beautiful, almost as tall as me and he had painted it white. It was a curved sword, something akin to a scimitar. He presented it to me with a solemn gesture, from father to son, almost like a ceremony. I was proud as a peacock. Of course I would have to try out my newly acquired treasure.

Once upon a time, my mother used to have a lovely flower garden. It was her pride and joy. That is, until one day my father presented me with a shiny new sword. This sword must truly have been special, because I fancied that I was clutching a Japanese katana. It imbued me with a berserker rage that was unfortunately directed against my mother’s poor hapless flora.

She was happy at first, was my mother, when I brought her a lovely bouquet of assorted flowers. But then an awful suspicion dawned on her rosy countenance. I think it was after she had glanced my sword, which was by then a lovely shade of green.

That’s when I decided this would be a good moment to take a long protracted walk. I made my first pilgrimage to Ynys Mon then, on my bare knees. It didn’t help, even when I brought her back a branch of mistletoe. I was still prohibited from going anywhere but school, for a month of Sundays.

Now thirty Sundays may not seem like a long time to you. But it’s a very long time for a young boy, aged nine.

Mirror on the Wall…


English: : A mirror, reflecting a vase. Españo...

 A mirror, reflecting a vase. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The mirror broke, it is no more. It fell from its perch on the mantle piece, for no discernible reason. What once was light and bright and whole is now a jumbled up cacophony of reflected light, bewildering both the eye and the mind. This mirror was a family heirloom, one that I had known all of my life.  It had faithfully recorded my evolution from sprite to fawn to stag.

As I was looking at this mirror, which is no more, through tearful eyes, I noticed that each tiny shard held the memory of one reflection, which in itself is but one still frame in a movie, involving several characters. And each singular one of these movies has a different plot.

I took out my great grandmother’s silver jewellery box and, with infinite care I deposited each and every broken piece of the mirror, that is no more, on the burgundy velvet which lines it, thus safeguarding them from any further harm.

Every once in a while, I would take out the box, with its dull shining lustre, and I would pick out one shard at random and wonder… I would wonder what part of the puzzle, that constitutes my life, was held in the mysterious grasp of this particular one. Then I would sigh and put the piece back amongst its siblings, where it is content, thinking to myself that it did not really matter.

But then, one day I inadvertently put one shard back in its fortress, in an upside down position. When next the blue moon was its zenith, I opened the box and was dumbfounded to see through the back of this one upturned shard, into a sequence of one of my past experiences.

With a difference however, not only could I now discern the whole picture, which had hitherto always escaped me, but I could see more, much more… For the very first time, I realised that what I had always looked upon as the major mistakes, perpetrated by myself against myself, had actually purposefully happened, to steer me clear of worse mishaps, if not catastrophes.

Never again will I say to myself: “If only…” , for anything and everything that happens, does so for a purpose! I now hug my mistakes and wear them with pride, like badges.  Dream or reality?

Evy’s Adventure.


Mama Used to Say

Mama Used to Say (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There was once a pretty young girl called Evy, who was skipping through the forest. She was doing so against the express wishes of her mother, but being young, she did not yet realise what a daunting place this world of ours can be! The fact that she was black should not make one iota of difference to anyone, that has a heart and but an ounce of common sense.

But through perverse indoctrination by their environment, it was a source of aggravation to the three young rednecks coming from the other side. Not that they were in any way particular, when it came to giving vent to their bigotry, any slight deviance from “their view” was reason enough. When you reckon that this was made up of about ninety-nine point nine percent of humanity, then you will realise that they had their work cut out for them. I’m even sure, that should the situation warrant it, they would not shirk from inventing some offending aliens to cruelly amuse themselves with. In short, this was a recipe for disaster.

When the three young lads spotted the black girl, they told each other, that they would have some fun with ‘this one’. They actually relished the thought of playing cat and mouse with this defenceless maiden. When Evy saw them coming, she was very worried indeed. And to think that Mama had so warned her about something like this happening. What were her options? She couldn’t run away, for they would corner her like a pack of hounds. She certainly couldn’t fight three sturdy boys!

What would mother advise? As if from nowhere, Mama’s voice penetrated her mind:

Think, girl! Use your brain, for it is the biggest muscle you’ve got!!”

Right! She could tell by his bearing that Sam Malloy was the leader of the pack. She knew him vaguely, because she was in class with his sister Cathy. Wait a minute, there might be a way out of this! She remembered that Sam’s sister was probably the only person on this planet that he gave a hoot about. When they drew near, she confronted them with an expression on her face and a demeanour, which belied the turbulence presently upsetting her tummy. She said:

“You’re Sam Malloy, aren’t you? Yes, I recognise you. I am in class with your sister, Cathy, who speaks highly of you, by the way!”

Sam was taken aback by this. His sister was saying positive things about him, whatever next? He went:

“Really!?”

“Yes, she told me, that you defended her, when nobody else would. She was proud of you for that!”

Sam was secretly pleased to hear this, but could not let on, of course. But when redneck number two got impatient and wanted to push Evy over, he intervened. He snarled:

“Hey! This is a friend of my little sis. Harming her would almost be like harming my sister. Now, you wouldn’t want to mess with my sister, would you!?”

He looked at number two with eyes that shot daggers. When stared down by his alpha male, number two very quickly remembered the pecking order around these woods and backtracked. And Evy blithely quipped:

“Gotta run or I’ll be late for dinner!” and went on her way. When she was out of sight of the boys, she heaved a mighty sigh of relief and told herself that this had been a close call. Maybe she should listen to Mama in the future!?

She almost gave her mother a stroke, when she told all about it. Junior, Evy’s big brother, was immediately summoned and told in no uncertain terms to escort his little sister to and from school without fault, from this day onwards. Big brother didn’t fancy this idea much, but he would do it, because deep down he kinda thought that she was sort of ok. And these danged rednecks were not going to mess with HIS family! When word reached Sam’s old man, Sam got a royal thrashing with Daddy’s belt. But fortunately or unfortunately, the damage inflicted on him was permanent: this puppy was in love! Whether or not this twain will ever meet, I shall leave in the middle.

Oh, and the moral of the story: Always use your noggin! Cheerio, folks!

Our Mary.


English: The Street, Stratford St Mary Looking...

English: The Street, Stratford St Mary Looking along the village street past the Black Horse pub. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In our village, we only have the one pub, which is run by Dan and his wife, who is affectionately known as Our Mary. There used to be many pubs in our village, but the times being what they are, we’re down to just the one, which is aptly called “Home away from home”. What with the exceptionally high unemployment figures in our region, more than half the adult males spend more time there, than they do with their families.

Thus anything affecting Our Mary indirectly affects the whole village. It is a sad but true fact, that Our May is grouchy in the extreme, when she is on her P.M.S. or some such feminine mystery. It would therefore not be uncommon for a man to come home in a foul mood and have his wife comment: “Oh, it’s that time of the month again is it?”

Yes, our village life functions in mysterious ways at times. The wife and myself have five children, one of whom is called Mary. But if the missus were to inquire about the well-being of our Mary, I would have to ring the pub to find out what the latest news about her was, as our daughter is simply referred to as Mary. Let me point out, that our family is not the only one where this principle applies.

My little Mary is a wonderful child, but somehow she doesn’t seem to get her fair share of attention from us. Whether that is, because the others are more energetic or just needier, I could not tell you. I try to stay on top of this issue, but I must admit that I fail at times. Don’t for a minute think that there is anything wrong with the girl! I believe that she is being more considerate than her siblings, even if she looses out because of it, which makes her even more special in my eyes.

One evening, as I made an inconsequential remark about Our Mary, I detected a wistful look in my darling Mary’s eyes. I noticed this, because when it comes to my loved ones, my emotional radar is always working full blast. I decided to redress this situation. Come ten p.m., bedtime for all our gang, regardless of their ages, I beckoned her over. She was a bit unsure, because this was an unusual occurrence.

As any parent can tell you, it takes about an additional hour after the announcement of bedtime, for your offspring to really settle down. So you have to be strict, if you want to get any sleep yourself. My Mary settled on my lap and looked up at me with a quizzical look on her angelic face.

Before I go on, I should point out that my sofa has its back facing the kitchen, where my spouse was holding an impromptu jam session, involving assorted pots and pans, which was basically a signal that yours truly should come and join her and get on with his kitchen duties. That would have to wait, for this was important!

Furthermore, as any married man can and will attest to, any married lady anywhere in the world, seems to have developed super-duper senses, when it comes to keeping track of what her hubby is up to. I did not entertain even a shadow of a doubt, that my one and only would hear every syllable of what transpired and this between each and every cling and clang of her rhythm section. Having firmly established this incontrovertible truth, I can now get on with the rest of my story.

I whispered in my daughter’s ear: “Honey, I’m going to tell you a little secret. This will be between you, me and the telly! OK?” She nodded eagerly. “Do you know, why I don’t call you “Our Mary”? She shook her head uncertainly.

“That is because somewhere along the line, I stopped thinking of you as Mary. Now, don’t get me wrong, Mary is your name, which Mummy and I gave to you when you were born and you will always, for as long as you live, be our daughter Mary, whom we both love to bits.

But somewhere along the line, I started to think of you as “My Little Kitten”, because you do so love to curl up on my lap, with your curly head against my heart and sigh in contentment. There were times when I thought, I could almost hear you purr. And that’s why I think of you as Daddy’s Little Kitten! Make sure you don’t tell anyone, you hear!” She had a delighted grin on her pretty face, when she fairly skipped up the stairs, to go to bed.

Next, my wife, the mother of my children, which makes her kind of sacred to me in my mind, came and hugged my tight and whispered in turn: “Hon, I just fell in love with you all over again! Now come and dry them dishes!”

Now you, reader, please tell me: without love, would life have any meaning?

An Exercise in Empathy.


The many portraits by Abbott originate from th...

The many portraits by Abbott originate from the wish of Horatio Nelson’s friend William Locker, Lieutenant-Governor of Greenwich Hospital. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nathalie is thinking to herself that this party might not be a total waste of time, after all. She’s just spotted the dashing Jonathan at the other side of the room, but he’s being cornered by some old biddy, who will have her say to him, no matter what. You know the type! She looks like one of those formidable douairieres in full regalia, straight out of an Oscar Wilde play.

Or she could be compared to an old but still fearsome battleship, sailing through the battle of Trafalgar, blissfully unaware of all the commotion around her, after just having drunk Lord Nelson under the table and feeling none the worse for it. Nathalie is a woman of good upbringing and with a sensitive nature. Much as she would like it, her sense of politeness as yet prevents her from rescuing her future beau from the clutches of the old dragon. Jonathan is of a similar disposition and this prevents him in turn from telling the old woman to shut up and leave him alone. And Aunt Zelda is being ruled by her inner demons and is pretty much on autopilot.

I think that so far everyone can identify with this scenario from having seen it in a movie, read it in a book or even from having experienced it in real life. How things are developing between the two youngsters is pretty much obvious. Nathalie can judge from Jonathan’s body language, that he feels uncomfortable at this stage. He himself, out of inbred respect for his elders, does not want to show the old dear how he feels, but is unable to prevent himself from doing so. That leaves Aunt Zelda: how is she feeling and what could she be thinking? Let me point out, at this stage, that I call her aunt because it seemed appropriate to do so, but she is not in any way, shape or form related to either of the others.

This lady is feeling a pervasive sense of despair for acting the way she does and secondly for what causes her to do this in the first place, which also adds a sense of impotent rage. You see, the only way can can get anyone to acknowledge her these days, is by brute force, for if she doesn’t, then people tend to ignore her altogether. This was not always the case, but she knows that she is showing the wear and tear, inflicted upon her by her main enemy in life, which is time!

She is telling herself: “I hate to do this. I can tell that this young man is obviously uncomfortable at being accosted by me in this manner, but what to do, how to break the vicious (in both senses of the word) circle? For although I must admit that I am starting to show my somewhat advanced years, I still have the soul of a young woman, one that needs to be appreciated and even loved! Why can’t people just come up to me and have a chat, without me having to resort to this?” Just then, a light went on in the darkest recesses of her mind. This was provoked by a thought that startles her, frightens her even. What!!? Just spit out the truth!!???” A booming silence engulfs her from all fronts. “Surely you jest, Marie-Antoinette? (which is her real name, but kept secret). Well, what have I got to lose? It can’t get any worse than this!

“Jonathan, I can tell that you’d rather be anywhere else but here! Please excuse this foolish old woman. All I really want is to have a nice and cosy chat with someone, but everybody seems to be avoiding me. I do apologise! Now, run along and go and rescue that damsel in distress across the room!” This confession startles Jonathan out of his reverie for the lovely Nathalie.

For the first time, he really looks Aunt Zelda in the eyes and what does he see there: intelligence, wit, compassion even and a plainly human need for a bit of companionship. He tells himself that Nathalie will understand and asks auntie is she would fancy a cup of tea?

She answers: “Tea? What a novel idea! I’d be delighted. You know, you might not be as shallow, as I thought to begin with, young man!”, and takes him by the arm. He counters: “You’re not as fearsome as you let on, old woman!” — “Watch it with the “old” bit, you young whippersnapper!” They both laugh and head for the kitchen.

Nathalie has followed the proceedings and comes over and asks if she can join them? Auntie says: “Why of course, my dear! Why don’t you sit next to this remarkable young lad. I am sure he won’t mind!” And she winks.

Right at this moment, a gentleman of around Aunt Zelda’s age comes over and asks her is she would care to dance? Off they go to dance and they start murmuring to each other. After a while, the murmurs grow sweeter in tone. And the rest in NONE of our business!!! End of the Exercise in Empathy.

Did you notice that once the door to humanity was opened, everybody seemed to recognise it immediately? Do you still have the same opinion of these three protagonists as you did at the start of this story? Because they’re still exactly the same people! So what has changed? You see: a dragon is only a dragon if you let it. Once you allow it to have feelings, you need not fear it anymore! Toodeloo gang, love you all to bits!

When is Forever?


rabbi nahman tomb

rabbi nahman tomb (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know exactly on which day ‘forever’ falls. How do I know that? Let me tell you the story. I was in love with a woman, whom I thought was my twin soul. When I was with her, I could have sworn that she thought the same, silly me. Well, maybe she did but then, as is a woman’s prerogative and often man’s downfall, she changed her mind.

She actually pulled my sleeve a couple of times, with a twinkle in her eyes, telling me: “Hey, you, come back down to Earth, will you!” I was in seventh heaven and floating on cloud nine, but it wasn’t to be. First of all, she was a young widow and then, to top it all off, her beloved mother, who was my best friend, by the way, died of cancer. Those two deaths in two years time, messed her up to such an extent, that she decided she had to be alone, to recover from it all.

In no way was I to blame, she told me. Intellectually, I could understand this, of course. But my shattered heart was not so understanding. The higher you fly, the deeper the fall. This is how I know, that forever falls on March 31st. For she left me on April first, leaving me feeling like a fool and that the joke was on me.

This episode taught me a valuable lesson in survival. After six months of pure, unadulterated hell, I was ready to call it a day, but my indomitable spirit came to the rescue. It told me to stop hurting myself over something that could not be changed and to finally accept the fact, that she wouldn’t have me in her life anymore (for whatever reason). Acceptance is the key, hard though it may be. And believe you me, it was damned hard.

Three years later, I met a beautiful, wayward, gypsy princess, who swore to me, that she would love me till her dying day. We were inseparable and she told me, that I was the best thing that ever happened to her. And then, she had a brain hemorrhage and passed away, at the tender age of twenty-eight. She had kept her word, my sweet love, but…strike two! As you may imagine, I was a trifle upset with the Big Guy upstairs. There is supposed to be a reason for everything, but the only thing is, often I can’t see it.

So, I have been alone for almost five years. I’m a bit anxious to even look at another woman, for fear of “what next?”. And the misery of it all is that I do so love to love. “Without love, life has no meaning!” someone said. In my opinion, he or she was right. Rest assured that I have not given up hope.

In that, I agree with Rabbi Nachman from Breslav, who admonished us by categorically stating: “It is forbidden to despair!” Those are wise words and well worth listening to.But where is miss right? I am here, ready, willing and most of the time able. Fortunately, even though I am generally an impatient man, when it comes to things that really matter, I have the patience of a monk. And face it, until she shows up, I shall need it. But Lady, be warned, I have some serious hugging and kissing to catch up on!

Wake Up!


Wake Up (Arcade Fire song)

Wake Up (Arcade Fire song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve told you time and again that I’m a silly ass and as thick as a newt and I’ve gone and proven it again, beyond the darkest part of an uncertainty.

There is this elderly gentleman, whom I think must have suffered a stroke at some time. His left hand is clenched and the shoulder of this arm is hunched up. He can walk, but slowly and he does, up and down the Rambla every day, come rain or sunshine. Whenever I saw him in the past, I used to think to myself: “Oh, the poor man, but he does keep at it!”

Today I mentally kicked mine own hiney and decided to greet him. When I did, he responded in a loud and clear voice, which seemed rather happy and relieved. I had made the error, as many of us do, of mistaking the condition for the man.

This man is most certainly not just a walking stroke-victim. He has a name and a very real identity. But it took me, being me, a whole month to realise this. Memo to self: “Wake up, dimwit!”

A Tiny Tale.


English: Beech Tree, near Cleuch Burn. Looking...

English: Beech Tree, near Cleuch Burn. Looking North, clearly the prevailing wind is from the West! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The North Wind and the Guardian of  Trees fought over trifles, as winds and guardians are wont to do. One day the North Wind felt out of sorts and what started out as a quibble with the Guardian soon became more. The Wind puffed and the quibble grew and then he blew some more, until it evolved into a full-blown feud. He swore that he would punish all trees horribly, by blowing his iciest breath on them.

But the Guardian was an ancient spirit, who was well-versed in wily ways. He entreated and got the aid of some of the smallest dwellers of the forest: moss. Therefore, since the time of the great feud, moss has provided a warm coat for every tree and always on the North face of them, thus stumping the Wind’s fury.

He still blows and moans, the blowhard, but to no avail, for moss and tree are forever wed and shall provide comfort for each other until time ends and even further than that.

The end to a tiny tale about tiny things that made a BIG difference.

Just a Kiss.


Passion flower

Passion flower (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

“‘t Was just an innocent kiss.” she said. The brush of her lips, which breathed new hope into the husk of my battered soul. “Just a peck.” she said. A mere speck of dust on the mantle of her kindness, perhaps?

Meanwhile, I’m struggling, wrestling and keeping a strangle-hold on my too eager hope that would go down yet another lane, leading nowhere. Passion’s fire sputters and dies, through lack of oxygen, leaving me confused and distraught, thinking: Just another sunrise, on winter’s shortest day!

Ever-ready numbness comes back to stay. Its familiar embrace returning my inner landscape to its former desolate state. Mirthless laughter escapes my blue lips. A monotonous line rides on the empty merry-go-round of my mind:

“‘t Was just another kiss!”

 

P.S.: Not to worry. Just a memory!

Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?


Worried!

Worried! (Photo credit: photoloni)

There is a word in the Arab language called ‘makhtub` and it gives me the willies! I heard that it is mentioned in the Tora somewhere aswell and it means”It is written!” Which is to say that from the moment you are born until you expel your final breath, everything you say, feel or do is pre-destined. If you truly grasp the enormity of this concept, you want to just lay down and die, for what is the use of ever trying!?

I hear you saying: “But the Lord gave man the freedom of choice!”  What choice is that, when everything was written down even before you were born? And even if you choose to live as good a life as you possibly can, what if you get caught up in circumstances beyond your control, as many of us are?

Let us say you are a father or a mother, who works hard every single day to provide the best things in life for your children and for your partner and then you get caught up in a war (probably over some silly dispute concerning religion) and you and your family are subjected to the most horrifying ordeals, being innocents? What kind of deity lets these kinds of things happen?

And on the other hand the nasties are thriving, probably because the devil takes care of his own. Whichever way you look at it, I choose to stay on the good side, whatever happens, but it makes me doubt everything and yes.. it makes me angry! Why do bad things happen to good people?It is so grossly unfair! But then, who ever said life was fair?

What about worrying? No amount of worrying has ever changed the outcome of any given situation. Yes, but were are human after all. Sometimes I find myself wanting to kick my own behind for having worried over something, when after all the anxiety, what I wanted or needed came to happen in the end anyway. But there is never any guarantee, is there!??

My biggest worry is: Am I going to die on the streets like a dog, like so many of my friends, or will the Lord grant me some more happy years? In any case, I shall ignore Makhtub and do my damndest to ensure that the outcome be positive! On this upbeat note, I hug you all. Ciao from Ralphie and may the Light be with you!

The Leprechaun and the Grizzly.


ru: Бурый медведь (Московский зоопарк) en: Bro...

ru: Бурый медведь (Московский зоопарк) en: Brown Bear (Moscow Zoo) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some time ago I was in Barcelona and feeling lonely. To while away the time I started fantasizing about living with my beloved Gran Sheila and her family in West-Virginia. My Gran has a grandson called Jace, whom in my dream I took for a walk in the woods, where some strange things happened. This is the story:

Ralphie asked Jace if he was up to a walk through the woods and he agreed, so off we went. We walked and we walked and then we walked some more, for ages it seemed. All of a sudden I stopped and Jace stopped aswell, for we were holding hands. I pointed at a large mushroom and asked Jace if he knew what that was. “Of course!” he cried indignantly “That’s a mushroom.” We both got on our knees to inspect it more closely and I went on: “Do you know what else this is called, Jace?” He replied: “No.” – “They are also called toadstools, because toads, which are like frogs but bigger, sometimes use them to sit on.” – “Really?” went Jace. “Scout’s honor” I went.

“But that is not all, Jace. It is also the house of a leprechaun, one of the wee folk. There might actually be a whole family of little folk living in there, Jace.” Now Jace was a bit starry-eyed and said: “Wow!” – “Indeed! But only people who really, really believe in these little people can see them, Jace. Do you really, really believe in them, Jace?” Jace nodded sagely and said a solemn: “Yes!” And POP! out came a small old man with a long beard, all dressed in green and with an impish grin on his face. I jerked up and said: “Look, Jace! There is one of them!” And described him. Jace peered intently and after only a short while a smile bethroned his small face and he nodded eagerly.

Right at that moment I heard a low growl behind us and slowly turned my head. What would I see but a big grizzly towering ten feet above and I thought: “Ohoh, we’re in deep kaka now, because you can not outrun them and there was no time to climb a tree. I gently shoved Jace in front of me and went: “Shht, don’t yell, don’t talk, be very still!” And we both slowly bowed down until our heads touched the ground. There I was with Jace under me, when the bear gave me a small shove, which almost toppled me over. With my spirit I summoned all the forces known to me and asked them to make this majestic big beast of the forest leave us alone and go away.

In answer a snake jumped out of the grass and bit the grizzly in the ass. In his rage to turn around to confront his attacker the bear nicked my arm. While he was distracted, I took Jace under my good arm and ran off with full speed. After half a mile I was a bit weak from blood-loss and put Jace down. I told him: “Jace, I need your T-shirt.” He took it off and gave it me. I proceeded to wrap it around the bleeding cut as tightly as I could. Then I heard something crashing through the undergrowth in the far distance, probably the bear in pursuit of its lost prey!

I asked Jace: “Can you walk, Jace?” He replied with a shaky: “Yes.” Then I asked: “Can you run, Jace?” He replied yes again. So I shouted: “Well then run like the wind!” And off we ran, like bats out of hell. I summoned Gran with my spirit and cried out: “HELP!” Together, our spirits joined, we stopped the bear’s advance and lead it back into the woods, where he belongs. And then I collapsed.

I was delirious and in a dream the bear came to visit me again, but my spirit was as big as his. I told him: “You drew blood, bear. you owe me!” I thought about taking his strength, but that would have been wrong. I asked him: “If the need should arise, may I use your strength to protect my loved ones and myself?” He growled a “YES!” So now I have the spiritual power of the grizzly within me.

Shortly after this my fever broke and Jace bopped in to say hello, all exited still about our adventure. He was bubbling over with excitement about what great hunters we were and how we had scared away the bear. I told him: “Yes we did, Jace. You, your Gran and I, we did it!” I smiled at him and nodded gravely. Then I said: “But with all this ruckus and hullabaloo, I’ll be you, you’ve forgotten something, Jace.” He shouted an adamant: “Never!” – “I think you have, Jace.” – “Double never!” – “Alright, Jace. After all this, do you remember where the wee folk live?” – “Under the toadstool!” Cried out little champ. He deserves a medal, he does. Make that two!

End of story, folks. Hugs from me!

I can’t be bothered any more.


You’ve all known me for a long time and I never lie. I am homeless and sick of it. Although you all love to read my writings, when I’m doing more or less alright, you never want to make a donation. Fine! But, I’ve had it with trying to entertain people who say they enjoy it but do not realize what situation I’m in or don’t give a damn. therefore, I will stop posting which costs me half a meal, living on the street, just for your pleasure. I shall live my abominable life, such as it is, without your help. If I go hungry or am cold or wet, I shall still think of you fondly, because I do not bear a grudge, but still… I wish you could have put yourselves in my situation and done something.
Is entertainment all that you care about? Does not everyday life mean anything to you? You know what, I don’t give a damn anymore. I’m out of here! Hugs from an as ever starving Ralphie!

P.S.:  And my apologies to the few people who have helped me.

Homage to an Old Man.


Redon homage-leonardo

Redon homage-leonardo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An old man dressed in his gold sits on his park throne and commands me with a rheumy stare to pay tribute to his lost youth. His demeanor tells me that he, who is tired again, but not of his own volition, has merit that I could learn about, if only I were to engage him in meaningful conversation. His sun-beaten face never looked upon defeat, his heart may have grown mellow, but the fire of his memories still burns bright. His lower lip trembles in anger and nostrils flare in defiance: “Don’t you dare pity me, Puppy! For I have walked with kings and lain with queens. And what of you?” I bow my head in dutiful respect and whisper to his valiant spirit: “I hear you, Great One. I shall never look upon you as yet another old man again!” And maybe his giant ears, they heard my words, for suddenly a crooked smile adorned his countenance. Perhaps some day I shall have the courage to actually talk to him…?

Leaving Barcelona…


English: Santiago apostle. Palace of Raxoi, Sa...

English: Santiago apostle. Palace of Raxoi, Santiago de Compostela, Galicia (Spain) Galego: Apóstolo Santiago, Pazo de Raxoi, Santiago, Galicia (Spain) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I´m leaving Barcelona, intent on starting a lucky streak, in search of my very own Shangrila. Somewhere in the mountains of Galicia, in proximity to the sea, I hope to find it. A haven of safety to call home for the rest of my days, surrounded by friendly, peace-loving people, who will accept me for who I am. Mmmm… one can but dream!

I´m a bit apprehensive, for I am traveling unknown territory now, at the end of which, hopefully, I will find my friend Freddy still there in Santiago the Compostela. And he´d bloody well better be alive or I´ll kill him! I´m tired of receiving bad news but then, he´s built like a brick shithouse and younger than I, which is still no guarantee on the streets. I hope and pray!

First stop Zaragosa, where I just have to make money to be able to continue the next leg of my trip, which would be Logroño(I never went there!) From there on, it should be easy sailing, for then I will be on the pilgrim´s route and am bound to meet fellow travellers with the same destination. I wonder how long it will take me to get there?

A Day in Gandia II…


Escultura de Calixt III a Gandia

Escultura de Calixt III a Gandia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I´m sitting on a park bench reminiscing about times gone by. In front of me on the ground are loads of broken seed-shells of what they call Pipas here. People eat them by the bagload, nibbling them one by one, after having divested them of their shells with two deft little bites. I´ve never been able to master the technique. A white dove came to peck at them. I thought to myself whether this were the Dove of Peace, sent to me by my guardian angel to bring me tranquility. I sincerely hope so. What is there for this dove to feed on though, but the broken shards of the seeds of ideas that never came to fruition. Dreams that have grown tired of their forebears being shattered time and time again. I almost feel like giving up hope this time. What does the future have in store for me now: more disappointment?

All I wanted was to earn enough with my writing to live on, which hasn´t happened yet and might never happen. Should I still keep going, just for the sake of it? It´s harder without feedback, not having the money for internet. I feel like a clown performing his silly tricks, with for an audience one lone dove. At least I just made myself smile, albeit wearily… Correction, of two doves, no… three and a sparrow! My audience is growing even as my spirit is lifting! All might still be right with the world.

A Day in Gandia…


Edgar Allan Poe Museum (Richmond, Virginia)

Edgar Allan Poe Museum (Richmond, Virginia) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This should have been posted long ago, but I did not have the money nor the time.

I´m sitting in front of the Borgia church, as it is Sunday and the lottery office where I was begging earlier is closed. I made a friend yesterday, a Spaniard called Vicente, who is depressed over a broken relationship. At the end of the conversation, I did manage to put a smile on his face. I shall consider this my good deed for the day.

Across from me on a terrace is sitting a man all in black, who has a pet raven on a leash. He is feeding him little pieces of his breakfast and telling the guy who just did the windows of the establishment all about the bird, which I can overhear. Chicho is the raven´s name and the only word he says is “guapo”(=handsome) and thankfully not “nevermore”, like his illustrious forebear, who was immortalised by Edgar Allan Poe. The owner bought Chicho from a handler in Britain and they are supposed to be a protected species now. The raven is said to be very friendly in the mornings, when he lets the owner pet him and actually nuzzles him, a bit like a dog would. But after that he is more or less a pain in the ass for the rest of the day. He insists on being entertained continuously until nightfall and is very fond of collecting shiny things as a magpie is wont to. It is fun to watch the antics of this black feathered creäture, but I can not help but wonder if he would not be happier without his leash and flying free as nature intended.

I just heard a nice saying in Spanish. There were two ladies having a natter inside the bar opposite and they belong to the coir, which is now singing inside. They had lost track of time and came running, for they were late. As they went in, one said to the other: “¡La lengua nos pierde!” or in English: “Our tongue has led us astray!” I had a bit of a chuckle at finally hearing a woman admit that!

A Candle Burns


I am thinking of Little Ralphie and sending him light and love and many loving angels to watch over him always.

Does The End Justify The Means?


The Borgias (2011 TV series)

I´m happy, because I have a problem, two actually. I have found that when there is a complete lack of problems, life gets boring. And I´ve been known to go to great lengths to avoid boredom, just for the heck of it. What the Chinese consider a curse, namely: “May you live in interesting times!”, is to me a blessing in disguise. You may be wondering by this time what my problem(s) is(or are)!?

You know how, when you are a writer, you sometimes find yourself at a loss about what to write about… The opposite has happened to me over the past few days, in that so much has happened that I could write about, that I simply don´t know where to start. And even more frustratingly, most of it I am forbidden to mention even. for fear of the consequences. I shall keep schtum on all these topics, for reasons that I have mentioned in another chapter. I´ve done well so far, haven´t I?

I´ve already written two paragraphs on not much in particular. Maybe I should have become a speech writer for politicians!!??? Any-way, I´m in Gandia, which entirely  by coincidence, I wrote about a little while ago, only to find everybody whom I knew gone. And I do like a bit of company! Of the right kind of course, because the company I was in a couple of days ago, I want to avoid at all cost! I do not in the least appreciate stocky gentlemen with a complete lack of humor. Nuff said!

The Borgias are still here by the way, looking as grim and sanctimonious as I remembered them. I would like to go on a rant and a rave, but the trouble is that the unpolished truth hurts and people want to forget all about that. All that counts is entertainment, a little respite from your own conscience. Because, … you are not doing wrong to anybody, are you, by being a cog in the machine?

The machine that equates people´s lives, misery and heartbreak to numbers on a spreadsheet!? I shall just say this and then I shall shut up. If you equate, for example, a father or a mother´s inability to provide their children with a crust to eat, with numbers, for the sake of your idolised profit, then you are guilty of a crime, period!

And somewhere, somewhen, you will have to account for your actions. In the meantime, I salute you, with a smile on my face, in the assurance that Karma´s irony will catch up with you… Chiao, Bambini, sleep tight!

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