Friday, February 22, 2019

2 Minutes. Go!

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 was tired. Tired of repetition and meaningless bullshit. The world is drenched in it, and you can’t escape the smell. No one wants to hear that, but it’s true. You play the cards you sneak into the game. You don’t want to corrupt the process? Doesn’t matter. Someone else will do it if you won’t.

This kind of tired wraps around your bones. I wish to hell people would stop telling me to smile. I can manage my own emotions – it took a while, but I finally learned how. And my expression is my business. I am not a human billboard; my face is not an ad campaign; it is a reflection of what’s inside. I don’t believe in putting on a pretty face, Ace.

And, sure, what’s inside is affected by what’s outside, but how and why? That’s for me to know.

Check it. There is a petite woman spinning as the crowd expands and contracts around her. She is moments from disaster – she doesn’t know it yet. She has crossed too many lines; she’s up, down, sideways. You could save her, but you would have to lay everything wide. She’ll die while you think about obligation.

No? Tell me that you don’t see the veins collapsing. Tell me that there isn’t a shit-star at the top of the tree, sprinkling filth all over me … that woman was counting on you. And you. On humanity. Y’all just watched her spin until her beehive imploded. Then, talk about how it’s a shame. It’s a fucking shame.

Shoot an endangered animal. Buy a car that gets 12 miles to the gallon. Talk shit and rail against people who look and speak different than you. Or you. Or you…

This soapbox is making my legs tired. I need an easy chair. Stuffing under denim, three feet square. I want to fall into a mushy Dilaudid dream, but I know how it ends. I almost wrote the ending once. Then I decided that life was made of pain, and that I wasn’t special.

I was just spinning in the crowd.

If you can keep your eyes open, then you’re doing better than most of us. So many try to lie and hide, profit from slow-motion suicide. Look far. Look wide.

Keep spinning.

There once was a clown with orange hair. Said we’d win so much we’d get tired of winning. That’s just the soundtrack of the moment. That’s the world spinning, scattering pieces all over the playing board.

Me, I’m regular bored. But, for now, still spinning.

#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...#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..


  1. Slow motion suicide... this era's "lives of quiet desperation." This piece is full of pain, and yet, maybe a little hope. It's not over.

  2. This is a cottonwood tree. It grows fast, its roots are deep, and its wood is soft. And as it ages, parts of it begin to rot. Branches fall off, no matter how sturdy the main trunk is.

    This tree is a lot like me.

    I have known this tree my whole life. As a child, I sat in its shade while my mother worked in the garden. As a toddler, I held myself against its rough bark when I learned to stand. As a young man, I had my first kiss under this tree, naked of its leaves on one Valentine’s Day.

    If you look over there, where the ground is cupped out just a little, that’s where I buried my first horse. In spring, when the leaves first come out, tiny and shiny and green, I see the glint in that stubborn old horse’s eyes.

    I reckon one day, they’ll bury me here, too, unless they want me to haunt them. I’m not sure I could rest for eternity anywhere else.
    Looks like the wind is coming up. Those clouds to the west, all puffy and white? By the time they get here, it’ll be a full-on storm. If I knew what was good for me, I’d head back to the house now, before they get here.

    But I’ve weathered many a storm here. Don’t suppose one more will hurt me none. Best view in the valley, from right here.
    There used to be two trees here, my grandma told me. Lightning got the other one when she was a girl, she said.

    Maybe that’s the way I’ll go, me and the tree at the same time. Maybe so. Maybe so.

  3. The name on the tag on the dog’s ragged collar reads “Hobo.” It does not reveal that the dog’s actual name is Hubert Oliver Beauregard Ozymandias, which, if written in letters large enough to read, would be just about as long as the dog.

    The dog’s eyes show fear, but they do not disclose the cause of that fear. If you saw what this dog had seen, if you knew what this dog knows…

    The girl wears a backpack too large for her body. Her smile belies her history. Where others might see horror, she sees freedom. The red t-shirt hides her scars. The baseball cap, just a little too large, hides the mess she’s made of her hair as she tried to cut it herself this morning.

    She sticks her thumb out, hopefully, optimistically, stubbornly, waiting for someone to offer a ride. The drivers do their best not to see her, do not even look in her direction.

    But the dog does.

    And the dog recognizes a kindred spirit. With a courage the dog would not have believed possible even half an hour ago, he strides up to her and looks her up and down, looking for the tiniest character flaw.

    He finds none.

    She kneels. Puts her hand out, palm up to show she is not a danger.

    He hopes for food, but he is patient. What is one more hour, one more day?

    She looks at the dog tag, hoping for a phone number. There is none. Only the name. Hobo.

    “Well, Hobo, feel like exploring?”

    And the dog leans against the girl, and a friendship is born, even as the cars whiz by.

    1. Aww. I love this. The dog's name. The story I'm imagining of why the girl is running. And how the dog recognizes a kindred spirit. Thank you.

  4. Eugene was late again. His mind wasn’t on the movement of his feet. Nor was it on the obstacles standing in his path between the art room—where he’d lost himself in his latest painting, a swirl of greens and blues—and his next class. Until he collided with one of those obstacles. The pair of them tumbled to the floor. Books, papers, art supplies, and the contents of her purse skittered across the marble tiles. Along with Eugene’s glasses. But he didn’t need them to know he’d crashed into a girl, and he didn’t need them to know which girl it had been.

    Ruth Abramowitz.

    He flushed a deep crimson and mumbled apology after apology as a smattering of students veered around them, as he tried to help her up. But she was having none of it. She was on her knees, a fuzzy and frenetic halo of brown hair and green dress, snatching up her things, muttering about New York boys with their heads in the clouds. She found his glasses and thrust them at him. They were already broken, the left arm snapped clean off. He held the two pieces and sighed, dreading his parents’ reaction to yet another broken pair.

    She huffed out a sigh, as if he were a misbehaving child she’d been forced to babysit. “Please be more careful next time,” she said, and he could do nothing but agree.

    “I’m sorry,” he said again. But she was already off, her Cuban heels clack-clacking down the hallway. He gathered up the rest of his things and slunk to the nurse’s office. It would look mortifyingly stupid, but at least she could tape the arm in place well enough to get through the day.

    As he waited, the heavy glass lenses perched cockeyed on one arm, Eugene started reorganizing his books and art supplies, making sure he still had everything. Ruth Abramowitz. He blushed again in shame. Of what he’d done, and how he reacted every time he saw her. She wasn’t like the girls in his Brooklyn neighborhood, teasing him because he liked to draw. She wasn’t like the girls in Arts and Music, either, with their matching turtlenecks and snobby looks. She was just—

    The nurse came out then, shaking her head at him, fists planted the white expanse of her hips. “What was it this time, Mr. Sokolov?”

    He studied his shoes as he gave her the broken spectacles. “Accident,” he mumbled.

    “Huh,” she said. “And does this accident have a name?”

    He grinned before he could catch himself, and bit on the inside of his lip to stop it, and she chuckled as she disappeared into the back room for her tape.

    It’s not like that, he thought, busying himself with taking inventory of his art case. Well, maybe it was like that. But something was definitely missing from his case. Cerulean. His nearly full tube of cerulean blue. It sort of looked like it could be makeup, or something girl-like that might have been in her purse. His smile returned. So did the flush. But he didn’t care. He didn’t even care if his parents got mad about the glasses. Because now he had an excuse to talk to her again.

    1. A beautiful tale of young infatuation. I’m grinning just from reading it!

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