Friday, August 18, 2017

2 Minutes. Go!

Hey, writer-type folks. AND PEOPLE WHO JUST WANT TO PLAY BUT DON'T IDENTIFY AS 'WRITERS' - all are welcome here! Every Friday, we do a fun free-write. For fun. And Freedom!

Write whatever you want in the 'comments' section on this blog post. Play as many times as you like. #breaktheblog! You have two minutes (give or take a few seconds ... no pressure!). Have fun. The more people who play, the more fun it is. So, tell a friend. Then send 'em here to read your 'two' and encourage them to play.



There were tunnels in the walls, secret places. He knew about them, but no one else suspected. They should have. A house that old, there had to be all kinds of secrets. He wasn’t giving this one away. The tunnels were the only safe place he knew of. Because, young or not, he knew that they had brought something to this house that didn’t belong. It would become one of the many secrets. A black, ugly secret that no one would ever know about. Of course he countered their secrets by guarding his own secrets. His escape routes.

It wasn’t just the tunnels. 

He would lay in bed at night and hold his breath. He got really good at it. He could hold his breath until spots started to appear. Until his fingers tingled. Then, he would exhale and breathe fresh oxygen and feel the pound of it in his head. It never lasted long. But he didn’t expect that. If anything, life had taught him that nothing ever lasts that long, good or bad. 


When he was in the tunnels, he could hear them yelling. Mostly the old man. They shouted his name and cursed him and shared their theories … he was in the yard, he was hiding in one of the closets. He was a bad kid. It always came back to that. But soon enough, they would shift their focus to some other subtle misery. They would grab onto something bigger than he was. He was the enemy, that was clear. It was also clear that he was only one of many foes. 


He didn’t expect redemption in the walls. Or in the oxygen deprivation. He did not understand the reasons behind his stunts – he thought he was brave; he did not realize that he was looking for more ways to hurt himself. How aware can you really be at five years old? He did what he had to do. And he never told them when he was hurt, unless it was obvious. Then, they hurt him more, but he always took his punishment quietly. This made it worse for him – they wanted tears, but it was so important; he felt it in the very core of his being: never let them see your pain.


He grew up like a circus elephant who has spent too many years under the control of a stern, sadistic ringmaster. He was sullen. He was quiet. He was withdrawn. Unless he was provoked. When he was provoked, he crushed big tops and spread the pain around, sharing it with everyone he could. The pain was his, but he was not selfish. He had learned much in the tunnels. In the thump of his brain cells dying.


And it worked. In a fashion. 

You would think that the therapy helped. It did explain things. But it didn’t help. It made him even sadder. It took away the sweet righteousness of the pain. So, he found tunnels that were even darker. Tunnels that no sane man would enter. And he made those tunnels his. He reveled in his dark agony. 

He stopped the therapy. Sure, it helped, the nice lady even said it was helping, but it was also changing him. It was making him into something other than the careful construction he had spent his life inventing.

You can see him if you look. He sits, quietly, unassuming. Some people find him unnerving. Some people call him brave. Some think he’s funny. And he thinks, “I’ll be whatever I have to be to get you the fuck away from me ASAP.”

And then he runs for his secret darkness. Just like he was trained to do.

#2minutesgo Tweet it! Share it! Shout it from the top of the shack you live in! I will be out most of the day, but I'll be back...

Friday, August 11, 2017

2 Minutes. Go!

Hey, writer-type folks. AND PEOPLE WHO JUST WANT TO PLAY BUT DON'T IDENTIFY AS 'WRITERS' - all are welcome here! Every Friday, we do a fun free-write. For fun. And Freedom!

Write whatever you want in the 'comments' section on this blog post. Play as many times as you like. #breaktheblog! You have two minutes (give or take a few seconds ... no pressure!). Have fun. The more people who play, the more fun it is. So, tell a friend. Then send 'em here to read your 'two' and encourage them to play.


They left town when the sun was falling, hands entwined, but hopeless. Their hands were too warm, too moist. It didn’t matter. The important thing was to have an anchor. And they were used to the others' warm, sweating hands. In fact, were they to think of it, they would realize that their earliest memories were of reaching out for a warm, wet hand. They shared a bed, and they reached for each other in the black night. They shared the dinner table with their father and his demons, and they reached for each others' hands under the tablecloth. They had grown up hand in hand. So, it was natural. And if someone tried to fuck with them, they’d tell them to go to hell. And, if that didn’t work, they would say they were brothers. And, if that didn’t work, well, fuck it. They’d taken enough punches.

They weren’t worried.

Behind them, there was chaos. They could not see it, but they could feel it. Deep in their bones they’d known how the town would react. The town was a part of them, and they knew it almost as well as they knew the desperate, strong clutch of each others’ hands.

“They’ve got the fire under control now, huh?”

“Gotta figure. They’ll find the real prize soon enough.”

“And then what?”

“We become the devil, I guess. They’d never believe us. They never did believe us. Remember when you told Coach Johnson? I told my teacher. Both of them looked at us like we were crazy and told us to show the old man the respect he deserved. We never said a word again. In hindsight…”

“Fuck.”

“Yeah. Fuck.”

It was proper dark now, and they were moving further away from the lights. More stars overhead. Things were quieter. Or a different kind of loud. A better kind. Natural. 

“We did the right thing?”

“No. Of course not. But we did the only thing.”

“We were never going to convince them that Mom didn’t just fall down the stairs. That this had been building. It was going to be one of us next. We had to do it.”

“Yep. No choice.”

Back in town, there were rich, white folks and poor white folks talking more than usual. They still didn’t cross the color divide, not even to hit the liquor stores that were still open. They drank coffee and shook their heads and wondered what kind of psychopath would kill the Mayor. The best man any of them knew. They weren’t used to this kind of thing. Unless it was on the TV, so it took them too long to realize that the boys were gone. They got on the horn quick, but they didn’t even know the right people to call.

It gave Jimmy and Johnny the start they needed. They had the whole thing planned out. Handy, living next to the border. Nice, to be dark-skinned with jet black hair. They had their mother to thank for that. And for the fluent Spanish that fell effortlessly from their lips.

“You know, I always wondered. Some folks hated the Old Man for marrying outside his race. Some people thought it made him a hero. We know why he really did it.  I wonder how that will play out. I guess he’ll always be a hero to most and a traitor to some.”

They stopped walking and dropped hands to light a cigarette.

“That’s none of our concern. Let’s just be glad for once that people care about pigment. And as much as I hate that fucking wall, something tells me that’s going to work in our favor, too. How you feel about being an expatriate?”

“Seriously? I think I was born that way. You?”

“I think you took my answer.”

They were in Mexico by morning. And they wondered, but realized that they would never know. Not if things went according to plan. And, so far, the plan was working.



#2minutesgo Tweet it! Share it! Shout it from the top of the shack you live in! I will be out most of the day, but I'll be back...

Friday, August 4, 2017

2 Minutes. Go!

Hey, writer-type folks. AND PEOPLE WHO JUST WANT TO PLAY BUT DON'T IDENTIFY AS 'WRITERS' - all are welcome here! Every Friday, we do a fun free-write. For fun. And Freedom!

Write whatever you want in the 'comments' section on this blog post. Play as many times as you like. #breaktheblog! You have two minutes (give or take a few seconds ... no pressure!). Have fun. The more people who play, the more fun it is. So, tell a friend. Then send 'em here to read your 'two' and encourage them to play.

The dancing popcorn and the coy soda don't know anything about you. They don't know the struggle. And that guy in the front who thinks he's witty? No point being mad about it. Even the zookeeper can't control the monkeys. Not really.

You'll get a view of several potential futures and each one will take you back. Trapped in the dark, you feel your skin tingle; you want to stand up, make a proclamation, make a statement, leave...

All those people to step over.

Life's a movie, and we're all just extras standing around wondering what shitty, stupid, pointless thing we'll have to do next. We hope for a happy ending, but then we resent it. We want reality, but we don't. We want that dancing popcorn to be a popcorn prophet. 

We came here to learn about ourselves. Here, in the dark, we are less or more human. Less or more violent. Less or more sad. It's a strange deal to make with flickering darkness.

And it's not even cheap.

#2minutesgo Tweet it! Share it! Shout it from the top of the shack you live in! I will be out most of the day, but I'll be back...

Friday, July 28, 2017

2 Minutes. Go!

Hey, writer-type folks. AND PEOPLE WHO JUST WANT TO PLAY BUT DON'T IDENTIFY AS 'WRITERS' - all are welcome here! Every Friday, we do a fun free-write. For fun. And Freedom!

Write whatever you want in the 'comments' section on this blog post. Play as many times as you like. #breaktheblog! You have two minutes (give or take a few seconds ... no pressure!). Have fun. The more people who play, the more fun it is. So, tell a friend. Then send 'em here to read your 'two' and encourage them to play.

You look into the water, see your reflection – fail to see any genuine affection. You curl your lip and squint your eyes. Sneer. That’s affectation. What a difference a few letters can make. But it doesn’t matter because you’re not thinking that way. You’re not thinking about anything. Not anything that matters. 

Maybe that’s why your life is in tatters.

Pride goeth before the fall? Maybe. Maybe it goeth before Spring, Summer, Winter … maybe pride is all you have, so you pull at it like a splinter. It doesn’t make much sense to me, but making sense of things isn’t what this is about. 

Keep looking. Straight on or crooked. The water doesn’t lie. You may lie to yourself, you may lie to the folks that ask you questions, expecting answers. You can’t lie to your reflection. Or you end up getting a flower named after you.

#2minutesgo Tweet it! Share it! Shout it from the top of the shack you live in! I will be out most of the day, but I'll be back...

Friday, July 21, 2017

2 Minutes. Go!

Hey, writer-type folks. AND PEOPLE WHO JUST WANT TO PLAY BUT DON'T IDENTIFY AS 'WRITERS' - all are welcome here! Every Friday, we do a fun free-write. For fun. And Freedom!

Write whatever you want in the 'comments' section on this blog post. Play as many times as you like. #breaktheblog! You have two minutes (give or take a few seconds ... no pressure!). Have fun. The more people who play, the more fun it is. So, tell a friend. Then send 'em here to read your 'two' and encourage them to play.

The air is thick and wet, and the hairs stick to the back of your neck. You hear everyone laughing, but there is no laughter in you. There are questions. The same questions that always rattle around inside the craven, corrupted cavern you call a skull. Why won’t anyone talk about the important things? Are they pretending to be happy? How can they be happy given everything that’s happened?

These questions will eventually block out the noise of the laughter. They will eventually block out the light of the sun. They will eventually become a weight that hangs around your neck, strangling you. But right now, there’s a pale man in dress shoes and shorts passing you a bowl of potato salad. You try to smile, but your lips lick rigor mortis. 

"Potato salad?"

He smiles; his teeth are yellow and crooked. The sky is fractured now. Your brain is screaming at you, but it turns into a kind of melodious drone. You close your eyes and ignore the voices. Ignore the hands shaking you. You will sink into the grass if you just give it time. 

You’re sure of that. 

#2minutesgo Tweet it! Share it! Shout it from the top of the shack you live in! I will be out most of the day, but I'll be back...

Friday, July 14, 2017

2 Minutes. Go!

Hey, writer-type folks. AND PEOPLE WHO JUST WANT TO PLAY BUT DON'T IDENTIFY AS 'WRITERS' - all are welcome here! Every Friday, we do a fun free-write. For fun. And Freedom!

Write whatever you want in the 'comments' section on this blog post. Play as many times as you like. #breaktheblog! You have two minutes (give or take a few seconds ... no pressure!). Have fun. The more people who play, the more fun it is. So, tell a friend. Then send 'em here to read your 'two' and encourage them to play.



I think about it sometimes – more than I’d like to admit I guess. It sits inside my brain like a sarcastic cartoon mouse. Sometimes I throw it a piece of cheese – distract it for a while. Sometimes it just sits there all smug and chuckling and I think, “what the hell, man, you can’t do everything right!”

The mouse doesn’t care.

And I guess I should be glad that there aren’t any horrible regrets flying around in there. Wreaking havoc. It’s the things I didn’t do that keep me up at night. Why was I so afraid to talk to that one girl? Why didn’t I stand up for myself more?

That’s what nighttime regrets are for.

And sometimes I can’t shake them when I wake. They follow me around. A snail slime trail of nagging memory. But all the could have’s and would have’s and might have’s don’t change a thing. 

Not really. 

It’s like the telephone is ringing, but you don’t want to answer it because you don’t want to talk about it. I have enough useless conversations. I don’t need to be debating my younger self about why I didn’t jump off the cliff when everyone else was having so much fun. Why I didn’t think more about the things I was going to do and the things I’d done.

I’ll give the mouse some more cheese before it turns into a dragon and devours me.

#2minutesgo Tweet it! Share it! Shout it from the top of the shack you live in! I will be out most of the day, but I'll be back...

Friday, July 7, 2017

2 Minutes. Go!

Hey, writer-type folks. AND PEOPLE WHO JUST WANT TO PLAY BUT DON'T IDENTIFY AS 'WRITERS' - all are welcome here! Every Friday, we do a fun free-write. For fun. And Freedom!

Write whatever you want in the 'comments' section on this blog post. Play as many times as you like. #breaktheblog! You have two minutes (give or take a few seconds ... no pressure!). Have fun. The more people who play, the more fun it is. So, tell a friend. Then send 'em here to read your 'two' and encourage them to play.



The wind lifts the wet hair off the back of your neck and, for a moment, it is almost like flying. Eyes wide and heart singing. There is a sensation like you are being lifted off the earth – you are neither frightened nor amazed. You are bored. Bored with flying? Already?

Who could have seen that coming?

There is birdsong in the eaves, but you don’t listen. You hear only the freeway traffic as it passes your house. Gasses it, leaving only carcinogens and confusion. Why don’t you listen to the birds, little mouse?

You used to.

Me, I’m juvenile. I’ll listen to birds sing and pretend to fly all day. I don’t think that makes me simple. I don’t think it makes me complicated either. I try not to think about it. Makes the mockingbird mad when I get too lost in my head.

At least that’s what I think he said.

All of this is just a roundabout way of saying:

I counted on you, and you let me down. I’m not saying it’s your fault. It’s both of our faults and neither of our faults. It’s the way the cookie explodes. I get that. But I don’t want to sit and eat pasta and pretend.

It’s time for that to end. 

There’s nothing wrong with listening to traffic and thinking that cool lift of wind is a given. But I like my way better. I’m sticking with it. Even if it leaves me deaf or splattered on the ground.

So, if you’ll excuse me, the mockingbird and I are going to have a conversation. Then, I’m going to hike up to the top of that hill. The one the red-tails love. And I’m going to stand in the wind. 

And pretend.

#2minutesgo Tweet it! Share it! Shout it from the top of the shack you live in! I will be out most of the day, but I'll be back...