I try, like most people (I assume) not to judge too harshly, people who are “different” than I. Having said that, (I really hate that cliche) I would like to express my extreme displeasure for the latest trend in male hair styles: The Man-Bun. There was a “guy” at work today that was sporting this new weirdness. I have to say that it was a mite ridiculous. It wasn’t so much a bun as it was a hair-penis – tied with at least three bands to the crown of his head. Maybe I’m old and out of it. Perhaps I have no sense of what style is. Perhaps I’m just not as sexy as I thought I was, but come on people. The guy looked like a Teletubbie but with a tube of penis like hair on the top of his head. The moral of this story is KNOCK IT OFF!
Day #3 of the #my500words writing challenge. Total words – 909.
Today was very productive. I began a premise for my new book. I may or may not use it but I like the way it’s written. The more mundane my day is at work, the more actual writing I get done. Below is just a sample. Like I said, I may be heading in a different direction but I really like this.
At St. Martin there is a small café; inland off Cypress Street, which many of the tourists are unaware of. I came across it two weeks ago on a bike trip through the village: a charming little charcuterie with window boxes and fresh table linens. I was greeted with the widest smile from the prettiest girl I had ever seen. Her hair was the darkest shade of caramel, with eyes surprisingly blue. The grape colored apron that adorned her graceful waist was stained with powdered sugar, but her smile required no respite from the morning’s sugary offerings. It was given freely; and it soon came to be mine, or that I had hoped for such. When she spoke, her subtly infused French accent quickened my pulse.
Every morning since, I would sit on the terrace overlooking the mysterious Caribbean and drink cup after cup of the worst tasting coffee imaginable: a meager sacrifice to be worthy of her audience. I would have drunk a tripe milkshake for the mere witness of her smile.
The morning prior to yesterday was no different. I paid for my mug of sludge, took my usual seat in the warmth of the morning sun and waited for my daily smile. On this particular day however, I received a bonus for my trouble: a note; in the form of a torn piece of notebook paper fastened to my cup with clear adhesive tape. I grinned childishly, surely it was her phone number, or at the very least the number of a local medicine man that was sure to find success in restoring my taste buds.
When I opened the correspondence, I was shocked; shocked to find nothing that I had hoped for and shocked to find everything that I hadn’t.
Mister, please help me. They’re going to kill me.
I was fully uncertain of what to do with this knowledge. Perhaps this was a situation best suited for the Dirty Harry type.
Day #2 of the #my500words writing challenge. Today’s total: 507 words. Not as impressive as yesterday but but I should get points for writing while at work.
My latest Story “The Way Back” is finished. In the near future (like a couple of days or so) I will be designing the cover art and sending it out. If you would like a free copy (only giving out a few) please let me know. Oh and I’ll need to know what format you would like to read it in i.e, epub, mobi, doc, txt, PDF and what have you.
Good evening y’all. Sorry about the y’all in the previous sentence but I’m feeling quite gruntled. Today is day #1 of the #my500words writing challenge, and though I wrote 1,980 words this afternoon; I wanted to get this blog up and running so I could go out to eat with my girlfriend and not have to think too much about anything else except for the delicious burger on the plate in front of me. You dig? Including this post, the total word count for February 23rd 2016 – 2,062
This is a piece I wrote for a short story contest last Valentine’s Day. It’s call “A Dream of Lilies”
Before I died, I dreamt of a girl. For five straight nights she held me captive. The dream often changed but the girl was always the same. She never told me her name and I’m not certain why it matters to me now other than to know the name of the girl that I fell in love with.
Because it’s a dream, does that make our love any less real? I felt her touch upon my skin. Her hair: thick and black as night. Her ice blue eyes pierced my heart, and her soft red lips became pillows for my own. We were like most couples – in the mornings we would have breakfast on a marble terrace. Afternoons were filled with strolling along the river, or to the local bookseller for a cup of coffee; where I would read aloud to her from Dumas: wooing her romantic soul.
Back at home we made love to the sound of church bells; as if it was the end of mankind. It was at that moment that I would be forced to leave her and walk through my waking world. I was envious of those beside me; those whose love was not bound by sleeping hours. Still; was our love any different from theirs?
I spent my conscious hours working as an investment banker. It wasn’t fulfilling work but it paid the bills. I made the wise decision a year ago to sell the car and use public transportation. After merely a week I chose to walk instead. Four blocks of nothing but banks, investment firms, and coffee shops. There was also the obligatory greeting card shop; announcing to all that Valentine’s Day was right around the corner.
Of course I had had relationships in the past, some of them had even had potential, but I always blew it on Valentine’s Day. The card wasn’t thoughtful enough, or I got the wrong flowers, or it was dark chocolate when it should have been white. These obvious mistakes resulted in the inevitable: “you don’t love me.” And they were right; so I gave up on love. The very notion of love became an apparition to me; always just out of sight.
Walking – this activity is allegedly good for you. All it did was piss me off. On this particular day, the warm temperature did nothing to brighten my mood. As I entered my building, the doorman greeted me while holding the door open. I retrieved my mail and grumped my way to the elevator without a word. I tossed the mail on the sideboard and fell into my overstuffed leather chair. There was whiskey on the end table from the night before. I was relaxed, content, and totally unaware that within five days I’d be dead.
I flipped through the mail and noticed a bright red envelope with my name on it. No address, just my name. After finding nothing to slake my curiosity, I opened it. To my amazement: it was a card. On the front was an image of a cottage, on the banks of an empty beach. Again, there were no words, but it was obvious what this was. Some fool sent me a Valentine’s Day card. The inside was slightly more telling. On the left was a simple red heart on a pink background. The right: blank but for the words written in ink:
“Be Mine.” Underneath was the cryptic signature: “Lily.” I knew no Lily. I put the mail down, finished my drink and went straight to bed.
That was the night I met my dream girl; standing in a garden of pink and white flowers, and wearing a dress of the same. I picked one and nervously handed it to her. She smiled and placed it behind her ear. I fell in love with her right then and there. For five nights she appeared to me in my dreams. Every morning I struggled with being awake; having become addicted to her love.
The morning of my death found me in bed longer than usual. I wanted to stay but she said goodbye with a kiss and I woke with a start. There was a smile on my face that my face didn’t recall as I dressed and walked across the street to Mina’s: The only authentic Russian Jewish deli in town. I ordered lunch and sat at one of the booths.
From the window I could see up to my apartment and I saw someone standing on my terrace. I ran outside for a closer look. It was her. She was looking down at me, her hair covering part of her face. I could see the smile.
Somewhere behind me tires squealed, but I paid no attention. All I could see was her and her smile.
Ironically, the bus that ran me over was the bus that I chose not to ride any longer. When I arrived at the hospital, I heard words such as thready, and shock, and then internal bleeding, and something about permanent damage. There were doctors and nurses all around me; attempting to save my life. Despite all their efforts, they were unsuccessful. I watched as they removed their gloves and exited the room.
I swear that I heard Procol Harem’s Whiter Shade of Pale playing over the intercom as she appeared in the doorway; smiling like a child. She came to me and took my hand. My pain dissipated and I sat up to look in her eyes. There were so many things I wanted to ask her; things I needed to know. But at that moment there was only one thing I needed to know.
“What is your name?” She didn’t answer, but took my face in her hands and kissed me.
Then I remembered the card. “Lily?” She smiled and led me into our favorite café for Espresso and biscotti. We laughed and reveled in the prospect of our new lives together. Every day was Valentine’s Day.
My first experience with this wonderful activity
I remember this night as if it were yesterday. It was a warm night in July of 1975. There was a fog settling on the stadium of Belvedere North High School. A crowd had gathered in the stands: gathered for what was to be a magical evening. This was the setting of my first drum corps show. I don’t remember particulars but I do remember feelings. And as my father pulled the Ford Econoline into the parking lot, I was not prepared for what I was about to feel.
Dad tasseled my hair and Mom made me put on an oversized Western Electric wind breaker. We entered the gates and I asked for popcorn. There were people everywhere. The meager high school stadium was filled to capacity. Dad bought me a Cavalier’s shirt. I shrugged, not really knowing who the Cavaliers were. In hindsight, I suppose I could’ve been a bit more cooperative after all, I knew what a Drum & Bugle Corps was, I had just never been to a competition and I really wasn’t interested.
My Dad was Ralph Irons. He, along with fellow Drum Corps enthusiast Bob Goodrich were the Director and Business Manager of the Men of Brass Drum & Bugle Corps from Romeoville, IL. I had attended a number of rehearsals with Dad but my interest was minimal. My sister was involved in the activity as well so it was difficult to avoid.
It was a late Saturday afternoon when Mom called me in the house and told me that we were going to a drum corps show. Big whoop I thought. I was still thinking this as the competition began. The first Corps to perform was The Vaqueros from Aurora, IL. I’m ashamed to admit that I remember nothing of this corps from that evening, and I was under the assumption that this was how the entire boring evening was going be. And when Brandt Crocker announced the next corps; I was immediately captured by the Corps name: “The Phantom Regiment.” Unlike the rest of the performers, these guys were intense. They wore pith helmets instead of the common shako or Aussie. Their drums and other instruments seemed bigger than the others. And they had capes; big black capes – this was important to me. The whole attitude of the corps then was so remarkable, and they hadn’t even played a note.
Image They began their performance with Jenkins’s American Overture. It was haunting, and I was hooked. That years performance of Gershwin’s An American in Paris was just as unforgettable. My life as I knew it would never be the same. I sat there in the stands transfixed by the spectacle. With each performance I grew more and more addicted to the sights and sounds of what would take over most of the rest of my life. I can still remember the thunderous triple-tom solo from the Cavaliers drumline. And the Trooper’s sunburst took my breath away.
I don’t recall who won that evening but it actually doesn’t matter. I will never forget that night. It was the beginning of an experience that most people will never understand. Since that fateful evening, I have marched in a handful of corps; aging out in 1988. The activity has certainly changed since that night back in 1975: The drums are louder and brighter. The horns are crisper and the color guard has become a vibrant and intrical part of the performance.
Before my father passed away in 2008, one of the last conversations we had was about drum corps and that night. I am so appreciative to have been able to be involved in an activity so magical and powerful that it has changed my life.