Friday, March 24, 2023

2 Minutes. Go!

To tell you the truth, I don't really know that much about it. What I do know, I have tucked away into the folds of my mind, like a mended sock. The one that never leaves the sock drawer. Maybe it's waiting to be made into a puppet. Maybe this is how I see myself. Maybe I'm a stooge. Maybe a conquerer. More likely, just another confused bag of blood and bones. 

Everyone is an expert now, I know. We're all so well informed. We're all so woke and empathetic. Or we're fighting that pansy bullshit with god. Sorry, God. Wouldn't want to lowercase your sky savior - I'm sure with everything going on, that would be the thing that ruined his day. Her day? It's day?

Everything has to fall blue or red, and I think that's stupid when we got a bunch of purple people walking around. Different shades, but purple all the same. Ain't no purple storming capitals. Ain't no purple hunting drag queens. The purple are shaking their head and thinking, what the fuck happened to y'all? Who hurt you? Was it a drag queen? They've only ever made me laugh and be happy to be a part of the unique tapestry that is humanity. 

Doesn't make sense to me. It's like saying you hate people who have blonde hair. I don't know, maybe you hate them, too. Sure seems like there is enough hate to go around lately, and then some. 

I'm a very blue purple, like a blueberry. I don't expect anyone to agree with me. But I won't stand by while you sling hate at people. No matter what color shirt you wear. I'll pull your card. I'm just stupid enough to still do that. Today, at least. I can't speak to tomorrow. 

It gets harder and harder, though. Every day. Everything around us is so binary, and humans are so not


  1. I'm SO sick of hate, and labels, and political correctness, and erasing history. Different peoples are what made our country great & free. Now we can't even agree that the sky is blue on a sunny day.

    1. We need a purple island. You're right: there's too much hate. And hate for no reason. But, to be honest, I think it's always been like that.

    2. The hate doesn't make sense to me, either, but this blue-purple person loves your writing.

    3. I think I'd be purple too. Or maybe rainbow coloured. There's too much hate and there's no real reason for any of it. I wish people would just wise up and stop being so inconsiderate.

      Aside from that, you've caught the theme perfectly. You never disappoint. Well done!

  2. A quickie....

    Ring the alarm

    Flag that car for a lift,
    and you might not get very far.

    Walk the streets late at night,
    be careful where you are.

    Ride a bike, so then drive slow,
    or you might not make it home.

    Fly a plane, check the seat,
    be sure to sit right by the exit.

    Stay in a hotel, look at the number,
    ensure it doesn’t say thirteen.

    Buy a lock, buy an alarm, buy a dog,
    buy a gun, buy a knife, learn to run,
    learn to fight, check for streetlights,
    check behind you, check in front.

    Don’t get the nightbus,
    do get the nightbus.
    Don’t walk,
    do walk.

    Don’t, don’t, don’t…

    Just stay at home.

    1. I love the light, quirky character you've caught here. It's both charming and instructive, with final flash of darkness that makes it all the more real. Excellent.

    2. This is JD. I agree. I like the way it builds, too.

  3. Harold leaned against a fence in the exercise yard, watching some of the warden’s boys put up bleachers for this weekend’s baseball game. A team made up of prisoners and guards was going to play the Yankees. They didn’t pick him. Just as well. He was a Dodgers fan.

    Then Gus shuffled by, stinking of chewing tobacco and old man, and joined him, and for a long time, neither of them spoke, which was fine with Harold. The warden’s boys moved slow, like their hammers weighed a thousand pounds and their fresh-cut pine slats were made of lead. Like they were being paid by the hour and milking the shit out of it. It made Harold’s palms itch. If these were his guys, Harold would have lit a fire under their asses. Or fired a few of them. Sometimes he missed being in charge. Hell, he thought. That was about the only thing he missed about running the business. Telling other guys what to do. And the money, of course. Money coming out of his ass, taking Lola to the best joints in the city… A black fog descended over his thoughts. It’d been weeks since Lola came by. Was she stepping out on him? The last time she visited, it was like she wasn’t even there half the time.

    “Baseball,” Gus said with a snort. “You kids these days are spoiled rotten. You get fancy classes, you get that, whadda they call it, ‘vocational training.’ Now you get to play ball with the goddamn Yankees, too. What’s next, charm school? You gonna be drinkin’ tea with your little pinkies in the air?”

    Harold rolled his eyes. “Spare me, old man.”

    “Old? I’m old enough to know some shit, ya little pisher. Did you know this place—this whole place, even the Death House—was built by prisoners. Brick by brick. Built their own goddamn prison. Mugs like us, we didn’t get no fancy exercise time and college classes. We got solitary. Damn near drove me out of my tree.”

    “Well, you’re damn near driving me out of my tree right now! I just came out here to think for a minute, for crissakes. Then you had to start yapping.”

    Gus barked a laugh. “Plenty of time to think when you’re in solitary.”

    Maybe if Harold ignored him, he’d go away. No such luck.

    “Hey, when’s that dolly of yours coming to visit next? Man, that’s some sweet piece you got there, shame if some other mug was—”

    Harold reared back and socked him in the face. Gus lurched back a couple steps and fell to the stubbly grass, clutching his jaw, laughing his ass off as two guards came and grabbed Harold by each arm.

    “Oh, you’re getting’ solitary now, boy!” Gus said as the guards took him away. “Lots of time to think now…”

    As they dragged him off, Harold could still hear the old man cackling.

    1. You've an unerring ability to create people and to infill your scenes with enough detail to make both them and their circumstances come to life. It's masterful and you make it look so easy.

    2. jd here - agreed. I feel like you have unlimited stories and people in your head - enough to make a man jealous ;)

  4. Hawke kicked the corpse in its stomach, an intent expression on his face. “Nothing happens without a reason, some motivation for it to happen,” he said, repeatedly driving the toe of his designer shoe into its soft flesh, the effort he was using making him grunt. “Cause and effect don’t apply here: we’re not in a laboratory now.”

    “I never thought it did,” I said, looking away. “But… sometimes people do behave altruistically. With people they know and trust. There doesn’t need to be a motive or a potential benefit for everything they do.”

    “You really believe that?” Hawke straightened, locking his eyes with mine, transferring a predatory coldness with his gaze. “If that’s the case, I pity you. You’ll never amount to nothing. Not ever.”

    I remembered the first time I saw him. He’d been on a stage, addressing a hall full of sympathetic minds. We’d all paid £300 to see him, some double that, if they’d wanted to meet him afterwards. He’d been off-hand and casual when he’d shaken my hand, his attention somewhere else, no doubt planning his next financial merger or the destruction of a competitor’s company. It had been clear he never stopped thinking of how he could make more money, leaving little but scorched earth where he’d been.

    I’d never thought he would care enough to despise me or to consider me a threat.

    “People like you are victims,” he continued, dropping into his presenting voice. “You make plans but have little ambition. You need to make a commitment to achieve success.”

    I thought of Eleanor, who’d almost worshipped him. She’d come to consider him a friend, having been chosen to join his inner cadre and given all the benefits that came with that. She’d even appeared on a stage with him less than six months after we’d met. She’d been so excited to be included in some of his successes and had been given a BMW sportscar as a reward. A year later, she’d been working on another continent. A year after that, she was dead, killed by a Columbian kidnapper who’d seized her on the street. Hawke had refused to pay the ransom they’d demanded, dismissing it as an inconsequence, a minor glitch in personnel. There were always hundreds more interns who’d be happy to take her place.

    I was still driving her car, although it was on a leasehold. I’d have to decide if I wanted to keep it when the contract ran out. I had sentimental reasons to want to do that, something this man would never understand. He would have parked it in traffic and walked away, ready to berate any unlucky cab driver who responded to his hail. Eleanor had never been buried as far as I knew, her body another statistic he’d have ignored.

    “So, what is it you’re going do now?” I asked, curious to see how he’d move on from this, another death of an employee, this time one who’d taken his own life, leaving his box of belongings in what had been his work cubicle until he’d received an email giving him his notice earlier this morning. I’d known him by sight, having met him through Eleanor, but he was unrecognisable now. I’d been surprised when I’d received his text and had hurried here to try to talk him out of what he’d planned.

    I’d been delayed in the usual city traffic – we’d both run out of time.

    Hawke ignored me. He was busy on his phone, trying to find someone willing to take over from him. He’d give his witness statement later if the police contacted him. But until then, he’d have to suffer my company for a while longer; I was determined to stop him from walking away.

    1. This is a great, tense scene. I like everything about it. I want to read more. JD BTW


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