Friday, February 16, 2018

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 spider lived in the corner of the room. I had no problem with the spider – in fact, I considered us mates. I named him Charlie. We weren’t close, to be honest. It’s hard to develop a relationship with a spider. We were companions, really. We were like the guy you see every day on your commute. You give him the little chin lift. What’s up. I talked to Charlie, but it was the verbal equivalent.

Of a chin lift. 

“Hey Charlie. Any flies today?”

That kind of thing.

Most people who came to my apartment didn’t notice or didn’t care. But some people cared a lot. Some told me I had to kill Charlie. I would usually politely ask them to leave. I wasn’t about to kill Charlie. He never did anything to me except protect the apartment from roving insects and give me someone to talk to. He never even left his corner.

Good old Charlie.

Even my cat tolerated Charlie. He loved killing spiders and flies and chasing anything that moved. Charlie didn’t move much, but I think the cat also knew that Charlie was protected. It was like he had joined the family. And I definitely mean that in a Mafia kind of way. We looked out for each other.

Me. Cat. Charlie.

I remember thinking he wouldn’t be there long. Spiders don’t have real long life expectancies. But he persisted. He was a strong spider. Strong in spirit. He wasn’t going anywhere. And I started worrying about what would happen to Charlie when I moved back to the city. I was about ready to attempt re-entry after San Francisco had chewed me up and spit me down to East Palo Alto.

It wasn’t so bad. I had a good cat, a good spider, and I had plans. Those plans involved reading every book John D. MacDonald ever wrote and spending a lot of time with my typewriter, my cat curled around my legs. Charlie watching patiently from the corner.

I did move eventually. And, before I left, I put Charlie outside. In a place I thought he’d like. I like to think he’s there still.

But I bet he’s not.

#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, February 9, 2018

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.


It was the kind of green you could almost taste, and it stretched for miles. This must be what Ireland looks like, I thought. It was a dumb thing to think, but my mind was snatched by the vast, verdant fields. I think I even said that phrase to myself. And then felt dumb about it. I do that a lot.

The point is that, when you’re confronted with that much of any color, it can be mind-boggling. And I don’t like the term ‘mind-boggling’ – but I use it a lot. I know. That doesn’t make sense. Things don’t make sense to me a lot of the time.


Going to stare at grass like you expect it to give you answers.


I guess I could have gone to look at water, or trees, or skyscrapers. There were lots of choices. I don’t know why I settled on grass. Maybe because there was a big old patch of grass nearby and I’m lazy. Maybe because I think the color green should mean something. Gatsby, old chap. Growth. New opportunities. Literature classes refuse to let green just be green.

I did run my fingers over the grass. I did pluck a blade of grass and put it between my thumbs to make a whistling sound. I did run, briefly, before I remembered that I was old and running is not as fun when you’re old. I did a lot of things.

I did not have any epiphanies. I did get stung by a bee, but it was my fault. I was trying to get too familiar with the bee and she wasn’t having it. I asked for that sting.

So, you want to know how all this ties together? It doesn’t. It doesn’t mean a thing. But there is potential. This story is green. And you know what they say about green.

They say lots of things, and most of them aren’t true.

#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, February 2, 2018

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.


We stepped outside into the smooth, evening fog – we shrank from the lights that filtered through, ignored the sound of laughter that seemed to follow us everywhere. We weren’t waiting for the train. Or maybe we were. Maybe we just stepped outside because it was too warm inside. Maybe it was because we felt like it was some kind of calling.

All I know is that it felt like falling.

San Francisco twists you up. The noise and the weather and the wonder and the dreams that ricochet like crazy fireflies. So many get lost, but some find themselves. I think I did a little bit of both.

And I’m thinking of that one time. That time we stepped outside to the J. But it could have been any one of a million times. It could have been never. It could be something my brain cooked up. It could be a tether. Some sick mind trick I can’t sever.

A strange endeavor.

Me and Julio. Me and Patrick. Me and Jennifer.  Everyone and I. All eyes on me.

There is always an old man playing saxophone and you can never tell where the sound is coming from because it gets all twisted up in the fog and dreams and noise and the city screams. It’s like the saxophone is all around you and inside your head. And maybe that’s why we stepped outside.

My memory is tangled now. I’m old and it’s not as easy to separate the steps. The fog was always there, and I was always there. The players sometimes changed, but the game remained the same. Try to make enough money to live. Try to maintain some kind of optimism. Stay inside and put your nose to the grindstone.

Or step outside. Hop a train. Hope you find the man playing sax.

And pray it doesn’t rain. 

#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, January 26, 2018

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.



“Get the Google Docs!”

“Huh? You mean you want me to send you a document?”

“No! What are you, simple? I want the Google Doctors. Now! My whole internet is sick. Viruses and more. I don’t know what’s going on. Windows keep popping open on this old computer, and I think my laptop has a fever. It’s so hot that I can’t even put it on my lap.”

The young man shook his head.

“Mom, there aren’t any Google Doctors…”

“Don’t lie to me, college boy. I heard all about it. The Google Docs. Everybody knows about them. Even your poor old Mom who is apparently too stupid to understand computers or her son or –“

“Mom. Calm down. What do you want me to do?”

“I told you! I want you to call the Doctors. Make them fix my World Wide Web.”

He shook his head. There were a lot of ways to play this. He could try explaining. Like he’d tried explaining about firewalls. Only that had made his mother terrified that her computer was going to burst into flames. He could lie. 

Yes, he would lie.

“OK. Mom. Here’s the thing. The Google Doctors are very busy. And they have a long waiting list to be seen. They wouldn’t be able to make it out here for weeks. But they owe me a favor. I can get them to come by and take care of this for you, but they have to think they’re doing it for me.”

“What do you want me to do?”

“Get a cup of coffee. Go to the library. Give them like an hour and a half. They work fast. And don’t tell anyone you cut in line. I’ll make the call now. Go grab your purse.”

She was halfway out the door when she turned back. He was prepared to accept her thanks graciously. He was looking forward to it.

“Son,” she said, “Don’t ever lie to me about the Google Doctors again.”

His mouth hung open as the door slammed. Then, he poured a stiff drink, ran the anti-virus software, and checked his Facebook.


#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, January 19, 2018

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 man was tired. He sat with slumped shoulders, breathing heavily. He occupied the middle of the park bench, and there was a perimeter around him. People picked a careful distance, which averaged to around ten feet. They would not sit on his bench.

But I did.

When he felt my weight on the wooden slats, he raised his head and smiled gamely.


“How you doin’ kid?”

I decided not to mention the fact that a 34 year old man is hardly a kid. Maybe I liked being a kid in his eyes. I don’t know. But I didn’t say anything.

“Good, how about you?”

He seemed to consider it. He rasped his hands together and all kinds of clichés popped into my head. They were like catcher’s mitts. They were the kind of hands that had spent a lot of time in boxing gloves. They were working hands. It was all silly. I didn’t know anything about him.

“I’m doing.”

He leaned back and I couldn’t tell if it was for his benefit or mine. Maybe both.

I didn’t want to ask him if he was OK – it seemed invasive, so I made small talk about the weather and the way people dress in California when it gets even remotely cold. We laughed. He said he was originally from Montana – lived in California half his life, but the place still didn’t make sense to him.

I laughed. Told him I’d been born here and it didn’t always make sense to me.

We passed a half an hour or so, and then he stood abruptly. He left a manila envelope where he had been sitting.

I don’t know how, but I knew it was for me. I waited until I got home to open it. It was full of money and a short note.

The note said, “I was wondering if someone would stop. You did. Thanks.”

I guess I passed the test. 

And I'm still surprised how much money you can fit in one envelope.


#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, January 12, 2018

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.

She sat on the edge of the sea wall, feet grazing the tips of the waves. There was sunlight and birdsong, but it felt wrong. There was a feeling she didn’t recognize. Something too heavy and hard to wrap her mind around. She ran a hand through her long, gray hair and sighed. The sigh was heavy and drifted towards the wisp clouds on the horizon.

It was a light heaviness, the feeling inside her. It clutched at her throat and made her feel a kind of opaque fear, surrounded by a giddy, childish anticipation. She wondered at it, but she knew not to question it too deeply. She was old enough to know that good things come to those who wait.

Or she was old enough that she had convinced herself of that – told herself that it was truth. But she did know, deep inside, that the good thing was coming. The anxious joy inside her … the flashes of light and sound that matched her twitching mouth. Smile, frown, wonder, think …

She heard his footsteps before he spoke. He was a heavy walker for a thin man. Like his feet were trying to punish the ground.

“Hey, you ready for an adventure?”

She smiled shyly. She wondered if anyone is ever really ready for adventure or if adventure is something that needs to be ready for you; she was determined to find out. She brushed sand off her legs and stood tall, stretching. 

"Let's go."

#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, January 5, 2018

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.

Is there anything worse than the perception of judgment? Negative judgment specifically. Do we all go through our whole lives trying not to be scolded? Afraid of the schoolmistress of the mind? It’s a play on paranoia. A whole system made to destroy you.

Sleep in the bed you make. Even if it is just twisted blankets in your mind, the flotsam of a life unkind. And fuck all of that bullshit noise besides. I’m not trying to win the black fingernail polish award. That’s not what I’m here for.

And things are rough all over. It kills me.

While I feel put upon in my relatively simple life, kids die of cancer. People get raped and murdered and their loved ones wonder why the fuck it had to happen forever. It’s brutal - half of humanity walking around with different shoe leather. And we’re supposed to get along.

Birds of a feather.

I have no right to complain about my pain. And yet it is everyone’s right. But that doesn’t change the fact that my arthritis bugs me and somewhere there is a sweet eight-year-old boy getting beaten bloody every night. And we gotta live with that.

How can you make that right? How do you even try to sleep at night?

And wake up and do things like make sandwiches and try to bluff your way through life. Pretend you’re not bogged down. Strife. Strafe. We are riddled with the bullets of a hell-bent existence. In for a penny, in for a pound.


It’s fucked up, but it’s what makes the world go ‘round. 

#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...