The Elephant Tree

Early one hot summer morning I was walking through the woods.  I came across a small babbling brook and decided to soak my weary feet in the cool water. I sat beneath a sprawling Oak tree next to the inviting water. I removed my shoes and socks uncovering my tired pink toes and began to dip them in the inviting water.

"Ahem" I heard someone say.

I looked but I could not see anyone.

"Ahem" the voice said again. "That certainly is not perfume I smell. In fact I smell a smell that is awfully stale."

I looked again but still there was no one to see.
"I'm sorry," I said. "I thought I was alone. Where are you?"

"Up here," the voice said. "Above you."

I looked up to see who was above me.

I coughed and sputtered, snorted and gagged because I could not believe who I could see in the tree above me.

Not a word did I say so the voice in the tree above me said, "What is wrong? Have you never seen an elephant in a tree?"

"Of course not," I replied. "Elephants do not belong in trees and are never seen in trees. Certainly you cannot climb a tree.  How did you get in the tree?"

"I put myself here."

"How," I said. "I cannot believe that you could put yourself in a tree.  But, if you did, why would an elephant want to be in a tree?"

"I did put myself in this tree and I did so to hide from the little boy that lives over that way," the elephant replied indignantly pointing through the trees with his trunk.

Then I heard a tiny young voice echoing through the woods, "Oh, Mr. Elephant, where are you?"

"Shush," the elephant said.

I put my shoes and socks back on my stinky feet and left the two friends to finish their game of hide and seek.

I walked back toward the place I call home until I came across another part of the little brook and decided that I still needed to soak my weary feet. I sat on a rock and looked into the tree above me just to make sure there wasn't another elephant in a tree.

I removed my shoes and socks and placed my weary tired feet into the cool water and sat and thought about the elephant in the tree.

No, I thought, you didn't see an elephant in a tree and I convinced myself that it was not true. I could not have seen an elephant in a tree. I was just tired. I must have fallen asleep and was dreaming.

As I relaxed and my feet began to feel better I heard the little boy's voice again,
"Oh, mister elephant, where are you?"

Oh, no, I thought. Maybe I wasn't dreaming.

I listened to his searching voice hoping he would go into another direction. But his voice got closer and stronger.

"Oh mister Elephant, where are you?"

Then he was upon me and he gasped in his surprise to see me dangling my bare feet in the running water.

He paused for a moment and then decided it was okay to speak to me. I am sure he thought I could be of no harm to him with my bare feet dangling in the water.

"Have you seen an elephant?"

"As a matter of fact I have."

"Could you tell me where he is?" 

"I am not sure if I should."

"Why not?" He demanded. "It is important that I find him"

"I sort of promised mister elephant that I would keep his secret."

He came closer and said in a soft low voice, "If you tell me where he is, I won't tell him that you told me."

"That wouldn't be honest."

Well, maybe not, but I have to find him and I have looked everywhere."

"I am very sure you haven't looked everywhere. Have you looked under the rocks, or in the bottom of the brook or even in the trees?"

"That's stupid, I know you're teasing me because an elephant is too big to hide under a rock and an elephant is too big to hide in a brook and an elephant cannot climb a tree."

"Maybe and maybe not.  He could be a magic elephant. Maybe he used his big ears and flew up into a tree."

He paused for a few seconds and then he took his shoes and socks off and dangled his feet in the water about 10 feet from where I was dangling me feet in the water.

"My mother told me never to get to close to strangers.  Do you suppose this is far enough away? I am not to close, am I?"

"No," I smiled. "I am pretty sure you're safe where you are."

He was thoughtful for a few moments and the said, "I never considered an elephant flying with his ears. Do you really think they can do that?"

"It's possible. Elephants are not supposed to talk either, but mister elephant talked to me."

His eyes got wider, "Really, what did he say?"

"He doesn't like my stinky feet."

"Is that why you're washing them?"

"No, they were sore, but they feel better now."

"If you will tell me where he is I will give you half of my peanut butter and jelly sandwich."

"Do you have any potato chips"?

"No, but I have two Oreo Cookies. I will give you one of those."

I decided that was a fair offer so we struck the bargain for the cookie and then we went back down the path to find mister elephant in the tree.

"Is he really in a tree?  How did he get in a tree?"

"It's true.  He told me he put himself in the tree."

"Oh," was all the boy could say.

The boy and I walked side by side looking for the tree with mister elephant.

When we arrived at the elephant tree, mister elephant said, "Oh it's you mister stinky feet. I guess now I will have to call you mister squealer with the stinky feet."

"I guess that's true. I did show the boy where you were, but he was very worried about you."

"He sold you out for a cookie."

"Figures, he's probably some kind of politician."

"Hey elephant," a strange voice said. "What are you doing in a tree?"

"Oh, hello donkey, I'm hiding from the boy."

"It looks like he found you."

"No he didn't.  The man with the stinky feet sold me out for an Oreo cookie."

"He must be a politician."

"I am not a politician. I was just concerned for the boy."

"You're it mister elephant," the boy said. "It's my turn to hide. You count to one hundred while I hide."

"I can't."

"You can't count to one hundred mister elephant,"  the boy and the donkey said in unison.

"Don't be ridiculous, I can count to one hundred," mister elephant said with disdain. "But, I cannot get myself out of the tree."

"Why not?" I asked. "You put yourself in the tree so you should be able to get yourself out of the tree."

"That is not necessarily true.  Just because I was able to put myself in a tree doesn't mean that I can put myself out of the tree. It happens to cats all the time."

"This is not good," the donkey said.

"Let's call the fire department," the boy said.

"No," both the donkey and mister elephant yelled in unison.

"Why not?" the boy asked.

The donkey said, "Because of the press."

"What's the press?" the boy said.

"The press is the newspapers and the TV reporters," I answered.

"Are they bad?"

"No, they are not bad," mister elephant said. "But, they will tell the world about me in this tree and donkey on the ground and then someone will say donkey put me in the tree because I represent the Republicans and he represents the democrats."

"And then someone else will say it's not fair for mister elephant to be higher up than me," donkey said. "Then someone will put me in a tree."

"Then," mister elephant said, "They will put me higher up the tree until the branches won't hold me anymore and they will break and I will fall out of the tree. Then someone will blame donkey because he represents the Democrats. I would rather stay in the tree."

"What are we going to do?" the boy said.

"I'm hungry," mister elephant said. "And I'm thirsty."

"You can have my peanut butter and jelly sandwich and Oreo cookie," the boy said.

"I ate my Oreo cookie," I added. "But, I'll get you a hat full of water."

"Great," mister elephant said. "A baseball hat full of water, an Oreo cookie and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich are not what I would call a gourmet meal for an elephant!
All of that should last me about thirty seconds."

"Look at me folks I am an elephant. E-L-E-P-H-A-N-T…elephant. I usually get about a ton of hay per day."

"I wouldn't be so uppity if I were you," I said. "You put yourself in the tree. You only have yourself to blame. You do not want us to call someone that could help so you'll have to eat what we can give you until we figure out how to get you out of the tree."

Another voice entered below the tree. It was the boy's mother and she was very, very upset. "Young man, you were supposed to be home one hour ago. I was worried and upset."

The boy in his own defense testified that he was helping his friend, mister elephant. The mother was leery, very leery. "I do not see an elephant. I see a mangy old donkey, and a man with a wet baseball cap."

Mister elephant said from the tree above her, "Ma'am, do you suppose you could fix me a few peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?"

The mother looked up and saw mister elephant in the tree above her and fainted.

"Oh great," the donkey said. "Now we have an elephant in a tree and a dead woman under the tree.  We better hope the fire department doesn't show up now. We will all be arrested for murder."

"Is my mother dead?" the boy gasped.

"No," I replied. "She just passed out. Sprinkle some water on her face and she should be okay."

The boy was very gentle. He did not sprinkle water on her. He took his shirt off and got it wet from the brook and slowly wiped her brow until she woke up.

She sat up and looked back into the tree. "Oh my God," She said. "There is an elephant in the tree. For lands sakes how did an elephant get in the tree?"

"I put myself here," said mister elephant. "How many times do I have to say it?  Do you have any more of those peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? I am really, really hungry. But, I don't want any more of those Oreo cookies. I seem to be allergic to chocolate."

Then he sneezed and the whole tree shook.

Of course the donkey couldn't resist. "Now I suppose we will have to call the doctor? If the doctor comes then he will call the paramedics and they will call the fire department and they will call the police and the police will call the reporters and the next thing you know, we will have fifty news vans parked everywhere. Man, talk about an ecological disaster."

Mister elephant was becoming agitated. "Be quiet donkey. Why don't you take the boy's mom to make me some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? I think about three hundred should do it."

"That's the solution," donkey said. "We'll just feed him until his fat rear end breaks all the branches and he falls out of the tree."

"That's just fine by me," mister elephant snorted. "Just get me food, any food. But, I really want some of those peanut butter and jelly sandwiches."

The boy's mom took the boy and they went to find some food for mister elephant.
Mister elephant said, "Please hurry, my stomach's killing me."

I sat down by the babbling brook and said, "I've got a head ache and my feet are still killing me."

Mister elephant said, "Don't take your shoes and socks off. I don't want to smell your stinky feet again.  Go somewhere else and practice one of your political speeches."

"I am not a politician," I yelled up at him. "I am a retired undertaker."

"Great," Donkey said. "Take your shoes and socks off and let your stinky feet kill him. When he falls out of the tree, you can bury him and we can all go home."

"Funny, funny, funny," mister elephant groaned. "I don't have to smell his feet; your jokes are killing me.

Just then one of the boy's friends came to the tree and started laughing.
"It's really true," he giggled. "There is an elephant in a tree, and an ugly donkey."

"Are you really a politician?" He asked me.

"I am not ugly," donkey said.

"I am not a politician," I groaned.

"Yes you are," mister elephant and donkey said in unison. "You sold out for one lousy Oreo cookie."

The boy's friend couldn't wait to tell everyone about the elephant in the tree, the ugly donkey and the politician. The neighbors had never had a politician in their neighborhood and certainly not an elephant in a tree so they all had to come to see the politician, the ugly donkey and of course the elephant in a tree.

And the word was out. The boy's friend told his mom. His mom called her brother who was a local newspaper reporter. The reporter came with a photographer and the evening paper had a picture of a frightened hungry elephant setting in a tree.


Naturally the story was picked up by the twelve oclock TV news and by mid-afternoon there were news vans from every major news source in the world.

Nobody bothered to feed the poor hungry elephant. Everyone wanted an interview. Every person in the neighborhood was being interviewed on one channel or another all across America and the rest of the world.

Animal cruelty was being reported. Political tricks were being reported.
The donkey was accused of kicking his political rival into the tree.

The undertaker/squealer/politician was asked what office he  held. He was asked to run for Governor and finally one group wanted him to run for president.

Everyone knew the "real" story and every "real" story was different than the other "real" stories and they were all wrong. However that didn't bother the news media because each and every one of them had a "scoop".

The Republicans accused the Democrats of demeaning their national symbol. The Democrats put an ad on TV disavowing the "ugly donkey" as their symbol. Their donkey was somewhere in main stumping for an election in that state.

The Republicans adopted the "elephant in a tree" as their new campaign slogan to show the entire world the cruelty of the democrats.

The Democrats accused the Republicans of campaign lies.

The elephant was still hungry and decided no one was going to bring him any peanut butter and jelly sandwiches so he decided to do what he should have done before the whole mess began.

He put himself out of the tree simply by jumping. He did what all tree jumper outers do.  He put his feet over both eyes and jumped. He landed with a  great thud but all the news people were so busy gathering news that they did not see or hear mister elephant when he landed.

Mister elephant walked away without a word to anyone.

I could hear him mumbling to himself, "I wondered if she made my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches yet.

The donkey walked behind him mumbling something about being called ugly.

I took my shoes and socks off and soaked my feet in the cool babbling brook.

And the News see them every night reporting on the political baloney (or would that be E.B. as in Elephant Baloney) 


aroma of a man

a smell,
not an odor
but an aroma

drifted across

it was the
of a man

not of him
who he was

an aroma
what he did

it followed him
crowned his soul

it was strange to some
heaven to me

I loved that aroma
than just an aroma

it was the
of a man

it was the
of burning metal

it was the
of my dad.


wind traveler

the wind
behind me
the sea below

a rock to hold me
from what?
I thought

the wind?
so cold to my flesh
yet so warm in my mind

the sea?
so wet to my skin
yet so warm in my heart

maybe my rock
holds my mind
in some deep crevasse

waiting to be
across the sea

can my flesh
follow my mind
to the sea?

the wind
can make me a sail

and transport
my flesh... my soul

to somewhere
my heart
would rather be



I spent a week writing the story.  I waited three days and read the story I had written and to be honest it was really garbage.

I edited and rewrote the story and took took four more days.  I waited another day and read the story aloud and it was still garbage.

I tried one more time to make something worth reading.  That took another three days.  I read it again and it didn't smell a whole lot better.

I repeated my effort three more times because a real writer told me that editing and rewriting at least six times is the minimum to create a good story..  I read it aloud three times and unfortunately I still had a lot of garbage.

I decided to write the story one final time and correct it for spelling and punctuation and then I read it again and wouldn't you just know it.  It was still garbage

I loved it.


potatoes, jellybeans and google

just some thoughts on potatoes and jellybeans without out the use of google.

have no idea why.

they are just there and I need to regurgitate them.

....the thoughts and maybe google ...but not the potatoes and jellybeans.

really, there is a reason why i'm thinking along the lines of potatoes and jellybeans. .

these thoughts were instigated by news stories.

sometime not to long ago, someplace in the USA, someone or somebody or some government bureaucracy banned potatoes from someplace claiming that we americans were getting to fat and potatoes were the cause (i think).

so a man that grows or sells potatoes protested by eating nothing but potatoes for 3 months or some period of time. he ate potatoes for every meal. he ate nothing but potatoes.

he lost weight. not bad.

i like potatoes...maybe it would work for me.

but, I have a better idea.


pres. obama is going to sign a law that bans jellybeans in school lunches. the law will allow skittles but not jellybeans. i am not even going to try and figure that one out but it may be because pres reagan loved jellybeans. however, i do not want to accuse obama of being political when it comes to school lunches so maybe it is because he does not like jellybeans.

I have decided that I need to go on a jelly bean diet to protest the banning of jellybeans.

lets see, now I weigh 235. check me out in three months



do we or don't we?...

we don't...critique...

bloggers do not critique...we fawn... it's awesome ... it's wonderful...

bloggers do not write bad... (it seems)

we are all great writers and the world is on pins and needles wondering which great combination of words will flow elegantly from our fingers...

and we know that is a lot of BS...

we write...we post...we pray for readers and glorious responses...

and normally (actually always) we get some responses (but only from those we have responded to or those that are looking for responses) and our words are exalted as if they came from the fingers of Hemingway or Joyce...

and we know that is a lot of BS...

are we helping ourselves...each learn and grow?...

is it possible that we could critique each other with a little more honesty?

No one wants to hurt someones feelings but do we grow if we believe no growth is necessary?...

As the British would say... Cor Blimey (God Blind me) and he least as far as blogging is concerned...

I know most of us are not capable of critiquing what others or ourselves write as as far as proper grammar is concerned but we all know that when we read something if it is confusing but we say nothing... (this sentence confuses me)

No, we praise other bloggers.  I guess we want to encourage them to write...

But, the real reason is that we want them to read our words and praise what we have written.

I took an Internet class on writing and got the same BS from the instructor. 

"You are  a great writer.  submit...submit...submit and by the way take my next class...

Every avenue I have researched or followed is more interested in selling than in helping...

I did get one bit of criticism from the instructor...

stop using ...(dot dot dot)!  It drove her crazy.

As you can see I didn't bother to take her advice...




looking to the past

Cut and Dried

He was leaning on an old gate and lost in thought .  He did not hear me.  "Good morning," I said.

A little startled he turned my way with a smile and replied, "Good morning.  Sorry I didn't here you.   I guess I'm getting old."

"I didn't mean to startle you," I said.  "Are you alright?"

"Never better," he said.  "Just reliving part of my past.  I used to live here.  Our house was right over there by the big tree.  It's gone now but I guess you can see that.  My mom and dad are buried under that tree but their marker is gone too."

I never said anything.  He had a deep voice that was interesting to listen to.  I could see he had been a strong man and probably still was.  His hands were gnarled like a working mans hands would be.  His eyes were bright blue and actually sparkled when he talked about the house and his parents.

"The house wasn't much but they built it themselves.  It had a pot belly stove in the living room and a wood burning kitchen stove.  I used to love getting up and sitting in the warm kitchen with the smell of burning wood.  My mother would make me a hot chocolate.  Hot chocolate was real in those days.  Real chocolate and real milk.  Now days everything is fake."

He paused for a moment, his thoughts old and deep.

"I used to go fishing right over that hill.  There was a little crick and a pond but somebody stole the water so that's gone to.  Everything is gone or changed.  That's the trouble with getting old, everything changes.  Well I still got my memories.  They can't take that or change it."

I wanted to stay and listen but I had to get home.  I shook his hand and thanked him for sharing his memories and then invited him for a Sunday dinner.

"I might just do that, young man, I might just do that," he smiled.

I could see tears forming at the edge of his eyes.

      Written for "Thursday Tales".  The painting  is by  Yorkshire Artist Les Wilson

so I'm not a writer

I am not a writer.  I write my journal. It's nothing great, just some history for my kids to have in case they ever want to know who and what I was or where I came from or where they came from or maybe they may want to know what I remember about my parents.

The problem is my life is dull and was dull and will probably be dull until the day I die.  I am just like everyone else. I am not a hero.  I have never performed a heroic deed.  I have never done anything to become famous.  I have never committed a dastardly deed or heinous crime.

 However I do have a few stories, same funny and some sad.

While learning to journal I discovered that I like to write stories.  Some stories I write are based on truth with a little bit of the old "Artists prerogative " thrown in.  Some of the stories I write are completely fiction.  I like fiction the best because I can create anything, any place and any body and make my creation move at any pace I want to.

I do not create false truths about myself.  I am not a yam like Popeye but my life is what it is.  I was raised in Utah by good honest working parents.  I was baptised Mormon but I do not follow the dogma as preached. 

I believe in God and accept Jesus Christ as my savior but I have a difficult time categorizing one religion as better than the rest.  I categorize people.  They are either good or they're not good.  I don't accept the black and white of religion.  I believe in the gray and I let God do the judging.

I believe God is intelligent and therefore logical.  I do not believe he will save me because I am a Mormon, or a Baptist or a Catholic or any other of the many religions that populate our world.

I believe I will be "saved" or "damned" for what I do and do not do.

I refuse to judge others by the color of their skin, their religion or the amount of money they have.  I just try to accept people for what they are.

I ramble a lot with my thoughts and my writing.  But rambling is okay because while I am rambling I am also writing.  So after all maybe I am a writer.

Hope I get discovered before I die.



Eddy disappeared the top of his head with a hand gun.

Nobody wondered why.
Nobody cared.

When most people off themselves, it is done in a shroud of mystery.
“Why?” rings from and through their friends and family.
“There is so much to live for.”

Nobody’s voice rang out in horror for Eddy.

“So much to live for” did not apply to Eddy.

Eddy had nothing left to live for.

At least, that is what Eddy decided, so he shot himself and he did it with the efficiency that he used to have when he worked.

However, Eddy no longer worked but he had not forgotten efficiency. He simply put the gun to his right temple and pulled the trigger, blowing his mind all over a filthy alley and an emptty bottle of Thunderbird wine.

Eddy was a homeless drunk with no friends or family left to care about him. Whatever family he had left lived on the east coast. Eddy had left Boston some twenty years earlier to seek his fortune in the west. There were some second or third cousins living somewhere in the east but they either didn’t know about Eddy or they thought he was already dead.

His friends gave up on him a long time before he gave up on himself. They gave up on Eddy because he decided to drink himself to death and they did not know what to do so they just excused him from their minds.

Another drunk found him and called the police. After a short investigation they scooped him up and took him to the morgue. Eddie didn’t have any identification on him but he did have one of my business cards in the inside pocket of his worn out jacket.

The police called me.

I have no idea why he kept the card. I hadn’t seen or talked to Eddie in over two years. My last contact with him was when I took him to an Alcoholic Anomomous meeting and excused him from my mind.

I knew that if I stayed with him we would both end up in the gutter. I had clawed my way out and I knew Eddy had to claw his way out or not claw his way out. He was beyond my help.
But I was pretty sure he wouldn’t. His hurt was just too deep.

I had only been dumped by a wife.

He had lost a wife and a child.
But he did not lose them to divorce or separation.

He had lost them to the grim reaper.

He had lost them to death.

Eddy had been a hard worker with a young wife and a two year old son. They had just bought a new home with a pool and the worst thing possible happened. His wife lost track of the boy for a few minutes and he drowned in the pool. They were devastated.

But, that wasn’t the end of the heartbreak for Eddy. His wife committed suicide during the funeral of the boy. She told Eddy she needed to go home for something or some reason. She never returned to the funeral. When Eddy went to get her he found her lifeless body in the pool.

Eddy never recovered. He turned to alcohol to replace his wife and child. We all tried to help but his sorrow was too deep. He lost his job, his house and his friends. I was the last one.

He hadn’t changed much from the last time I saw him. He hadn’t been a big man to begin with and his diet of alcohol had taken away most of the weight he had. His face was gaunt and skinny and his flashing Irish smile and Irish grin that we all loved so much had left him long before the top of his head did.
But somehow Eddy looked peaceful.

I don’t know how God punishes drunks that commit suicide
but I believe in Eddy's case
God will show him all the mercy in his power.


directions to hell

One of the most recent fads to hit America is the GPS system. Everyone has to have one. They do not need one but they have to have one. They need to keep up with the neighbors.

I have never felt the need to buy one. I have figured out how to maneuver through the cities of Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Atlanta and the ugly city of Buffalo, New York.

I accomplished this by having a map and some common sense.

Oh yes, I have been lost and I have hovered around my destination for long periods of time. However, I have always felt that the lost and hovering times were my adventures. I've seen places that I would have never thought of visiting. I have seen the barrios and the ghettos of several major cities and believe it or not I am glad that I have. (probably more glad to be alive)

When I am alone, being lost is not a problem. I just keep searching until I find what I am looking for.

My troubles start when my wife is with me. She has a lot of trouble controlling the car when I am driving. That does not stop her from trying.

She has a habit of telling me where to turn and adds to the problem by using her finger as a turn signal. I used to get mad as hell but over the years I have learned to accept her directions and not pay attention.

But now she has acquired a "Droid" phone. When she acquired the "Droid" she discovered that it has a built in GPS system. I can thank my techie son for that little tidbit of information.

"Oh goody," she said. "We will never get lost again." I just rolled my eyes wondering what I was in for.

It is really ugly. I mean the whole scenario of my wife and me driving to new destinations is ugly. At least it is ugly for me. When we get into the car out comes the "Droid".

"Turn left", says the "Droid."

"Turn left here," my wife says, with her finger pointing left as if I don't know which way left is.

The really excruciating thing is the damned "Droid" has to tell me how to get out of my own neighborhood.

Sometimes, just to stir the pot, I will not turn or I will turn the wrong way. They both start jabbering a mile a minute. The "Droid" wants me to turn at the first street I come to. It seems very paranoid that I am going to get lost.

My wife is upset because I "don't listen" and wants me to make a U turn at the next corner.

If I am lucky we are on a street with miles and miles of no U turn intersections. Then I can go into the back neighborhoods where even the "Droid" can't find its way out.

I keep my mouth shut and smile inwardly.

A guy has to have some fun.


The voice in the flame

The flames hypnotize me. I cannot keep my eyes off them.
They dance as if they are alive
but then they disappear leaving me gasping for fresh air.

On another day at another time they return to haunt me.
I become lost in them.

This time they seemed bigger.
There are more flames, more flickering and  more jabbing
points of fire hissing at me as if they are alive and talking to me.

I stare and listen as if I could hear the lips of the flame
or read the words they are writing.

Why do they return?
I do not seek them. I do not want them.

They are not warm.
I hold my hands to them
but a cold winter wind blows through them.
My fingers become frost bitten.

Why? I scream.
 I know the flames would talk to me if I spoke aloud
but they scare me.

Am I crazy?
No one else seems to notice them.
They are mine!
They are mine to keep.
They are mine to keep forever.

But, why would I want them?
Why would I want cold flames licking at my body?

Why would I want cold flames
leaving spots of frost bite where my heart used to be?

The cold flames are all that's left of you.

My desire is to destroy them as you destroyed me.

I cannot.
They remain to haunt me
Your cold and burning flames are jabbing ice into my heart.
I cannot put them out.


going green

I'm going to jump on the crap wagon.  I need to spread the fertilizer and get to be known as the "Green blog".

I have a great idea to green up the world.  My idea is to save water and grow hogs to feed the poor.

Step one is to pass a law against all garbage disposals.  We put all our garbage down the disposal and then run gallons of water to wash it on down the drain.

If we all put our food garbage in a "swill container" and had the city pick it up think of the water we could save.

Step two is for the state to create hog farms.  The hogs could eat the garbage.  We would create jobs in slaughter houses and the hogs could feed the homeless.

Hell, maybe I should run for Governor.


politics, lies, crap and "truth"

Politics and the season is nasty and I mean nasty.  We seem to be a split country...48% or so for each side.  The way  all the candidates think is the best path for election is to completely "Hitlerize" their opponent.  By the time the election season is over we have a government that is completely detested by 48% of the population. 

Seems to me  that is a recipe for disaster...interesting..seems like that is exactly what is happening here in the bad old USA.

My favorite pet peeve is the bad emails that circulate at random.  No one questions the "crap" they pass along.  The latest one to hit my computer.... 5 weekends (Sat & Sun) in October this year....supposed to be something that can only happen every 860 years or so...received that one from 4 different people...the good thing...I didn't pass it along...actually the 5 weekend thing happens every 10 or 12 years.

I used to email the sender of the false info and give them the real facts (if I could find them) but I lost a few friends.  They decided I was some kind of kook.  Everyone knows that if it shows up in your email it has to be true.

Finally, NPR has proved that reporters must write and regurgitate what they are told.
If a reporter has an original thought or personal observation they will be terminated.

Makes me wonder if what I hear on the news has any validity....probably not...actually I shouldn't be surprised. 

I have had personal knowledge of 5 stories that have made the papers in my 70 years of life and every one of them were reported wrong 

A couple down right lies and the rest - a lazy reporter not taking the time to get the facts correct.

But what the hell...everyone knows that if it is in the paper it has to be true.


what goes in

On my Old Grizz blog I usually write to prompts from Sunday Scribbling and Keith's, Carry on Tuesday blog.  It is fun and helps me to keep writing when I just want to burn my computers.  Ofttimes I see them (lap top, 2 desks and an I Pad) on top of a pyre of sharpened pencils and me dancing around the fire like a wild mad man screaming wonderful words like Ya-ha-ha, computers ha.

I guess there is frustration in everything we do.  At first it is fun. But then as we try to get better sometimes the fun goes away and misery takes its place.  I tell myself that I just write for fun but in reality I am just kidding my undeveloped mind.

I think we all write because we want to be heard (or in this case, read) and sometimes it seems like we are only whipping dead horses (now there's a ghastly comparison).  Maybe I should change the we to I since I really do not know the true feelings of anyone else.

I will say it...I WANT TO BE READ... There, I've screamed it to the world and I feel better.  Will that help me get an audience.  Nope, I need to work harder.  I need to get back to my book, and my free lance projects.  I need to submit them.

It's like God told me when I ask him if he would help me win the lottery.
God's reply..."You have to buy a ticket"

If you want "what goes in" to come out and be interesting, you (I) need to work harder.

I thank SS and COT for providing a place to revitalize my spirit.  I thank those that drop in and leave a note.  That always brightens my day.


Beautiful Boy


so young and innocent,
I give my life to you

please absolve me
beautiful boy

I was there once
but lost it

and my other son
will you be him



9-11 and me

I am one of those opposed to any kind of shrine to Muslims anywhere near ground zero.  We were attacked and our people killed and I was more that just a little upset by the whole issue.

It wasn't easy for me to watch helplessly while thousands of defenseless Americans were being slaughtered.  I am sorry, but it was a barbaric act committed by cowards who did not have the courage to face any man or for that matter, any woman on a field of battle.

They were not just cowards but gutless cowards.

Lest you think it was the act of a few renegades then you were not watching as the TV showed millions of Muslims dancing in the streets screaming their guttural screams in spasms of joy.

Now I have to listen to some Americans proclaim that it was our fault.   They say it will be good for religious freedom to have the mosque and a shrine to Muslims near ground zero.  Maybe we should build a monument to our stupidity and pay for a Super Mosque right on ground zero.

If they were so interested in creating peace and love for the Muslims in America they would not use our laws and our religious freedom to shove it down our throats.  In fact it is my belief that if the Muslim nations were so interested in peace and love they would donate the money to rebuild the ground zero memorial and then take there mosque somewhere else. 

Building that mosque where they want to is the same as if my son slaughtered your entire family and then I bought the property across from your home and erected a memorial to his memory.

However, America is America and since they own the property and the laws are obeyed they will be able to continue with there mosque.  It would be an act of honor and courage if they were stop their madness and build their mosque elsewhere.  That would truly be a mosque and not a memorial to those that slaughtered innocent American lives on American soil.  That used to be considered an act of war.


My writing class

I decided to try and learn a littile more about writing so I signed up for a computer class on writing.  I had no idea what I should expect but I think I got into a winner.  The class began last Tuesday.  I am taking the class through the North Orange County Community College district.  I live in Orange County, California so I assumed that the other class members would be from California but that is not the case.  In fact there are only three or four from California.  The class consists of 40 students and they come from all over the world.  There are students from Korea, Japan, Austrailia, Texas, North Carolina. New York, Michigan and several other states.  It is a diversifide group with all different ages represented.  I am looking forward to the class.

Upon complettion of my last writing class the instriuction gave us a list of Authors fir our summer reading class.  I thought some of you may be interested.

Letters to a Young Poet - Rainer Maria Rilke
The Year of Magical Thinking - Joan Didion
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek - Annie Dillard
Bird by Bird - Anne Lamott
An American Childhood - Annie Dillard
When Memory Speaks - Jill Ker Conway
A Grief Observed - C.S. Lewis
Gift of the Sea - Anne Morrow Lindberg
The Wounded Healer - Henri Nouwen
Cross Creek - Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Night - Elie Wiesel
The Windows of Brimnes - Bill Holm
Writing to Change the World - Mary Pipher
Poetic Medicine - John Fox
The Third Chapter - Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot
Coming to Writing and Other Essays - Helene Cixous
River Flow - David Whyte
Dead Man Walking - Sr. Helen Prejean
A Moveable Feast -Ernest Hemmingway
To The Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf
Memoir A History - Ben Yagoda
If You Want to Write - Brenda Ueland
Harvesting Your Journals - Rosalie Deer Heart and Alison Strickland

Any collection of poetry by these poets:

Rainer Maria Rilke
 Sharon Olds
Billy Collins
Maya Angelou
W.H. Auden
Mary Oliver
David Whyte


Chasing the wind

I wrote the following story for "Redroom".  The prompt was to write about "fire, air, earth and water as it applied to the Alchemist's theory that they were the fout components of life.

In a land somewhere in place I do not know lived a boy of an age that I was not told. He lived in house on a street in a city in a valley below a mountain and they all had names that escape me now.
The boy was smart and eager to learn so he listened to writers and poets and men of the cloth but most of all he listened to all the alchemists and the things they would say. He listened as they lectured and he listened to their debates. He listened as they discussed the elements of life which of course was Fire, Air, Earth and Water. He studied their words as they discussed which was the most important and the one above the rest. Fire, Earth and Water all had many champions but air, well air had only one. The many would scoff at the one making all sorts of fun but the one stood his ground and argued his point. Fire, Earth and water I can hold in my hand but now the air, just grab a hand full and see what you have. You see it moved with the wind and left your hand empty and you looking like sheep. Don't you see my dear friends we can all catch the fire and we can all catch the earth and we can all catch the water but only God from up above can catch the wind. And the Alchemists from all over the land had to agree that the one of the Air was more right than they so they offered a reward to the man that could catch the wind.
They issued a proclamation which said, "To any man who can catch the wind we will come together and turn a mountain of dirt into a mountain of gold for him to spend as he desires." The boy was excited because he had studied and he had listened and he knew if anyone could catch the wind it would be him. He knew where the wind came from and to that place he would go. It came from somewhere high in the mountain above and would be easy to catch when it was new. You see he figured that trying to catch the wind in the valley when it was old was stupid and naïve because the wind was too smart to be caught way down here.
So he left for the mountain and walked a long way and he was tired and thirsty and stopped for a drink by a small rillet. As he dipped his mouth and nose into the cool water he saw the image of an old man washing against the pebbles. He hadn't noticed the man before but now he was sitting cross legged and head bowed low just across the rill from him. I didn't see you there the boy said with awe and the old man grinned a one-tooth grin and said I wasn't here back then. Back when, the boy replied? Back when the wind was gone, the old man said. But no matter of me, why are you here? Have you come to see me? No sir, the boy replied. I came to catch the wind. But I am the wind, the one tooth man replied. Touch me and see. The boy reached out to touch the man and he was gone and then back again. There now do you believe the old man chuckled and his misty blue eyes flashed in the sun?
But if you're are the wind and you cannot be caught how can I explain that I am not a fool the boy whispered low. No my son you are not a fool because you came to seek the wind and you found the wind and you talked to the wind and now your wisdom is greater that all the alchemists in the valley below. You see my son the Fire, the Air, the Earth and the Water cannot be tamed. We are the essence of life and to tame one would be to destroy them all. We work as one but we work as all and when you teach the ones down there you will be looked up to as the mightiest alchemist of all.
So the boy returned to the village I have not named and became a man that knew the wind and the people looked up to him because even though he didn't catch the wind he was as the wind. Only the boy who was now a man had spent some time talking to the wind. And he had learned not to try and tame the Fire, the Air, the Earth and the Water and his wisdom and fame spread all across the land and he knew not to chase the wind.

When I was Nine

I was introduced to death when I was just a boy by my two year old neighbor, Timmy. Timmy was a strapping tow head toddler with lots of curiosity. I am sure Timmy never intended for me to see death at the age of nine. I can still remember Timmy running around his back yard, his blue eyes sparkling in the sun. He would laugh and giggle with his dad in chase, pretending not to catch him and then grabbing him up with a big tickle and a rub on his chubby belly with whiskered chin. No daddy, no Timmy would giggle and then ask for more.
Then one hot summer day when Timmy's dad was away Timmy could not be found. We all looked and yelled and checked all the neighbor's yards and houses. Have you seen Timmy? Timmy's missing everyone would say and another neighbor helped to look that day. Timmy's dad came home and the police were called and they all searched all over again.
Timmy's dad was scared and Timmy's mom was frantic and then someone, I can't remember who, found little Timmy Roebuck floating in the irrigation ditch behind my home. I was there when they pulled him out all wet and blue. The ambulance came and they tried to make him breathe and then my mom was crying and said. "Timmy is dead". I didn't understand death and I wasn't sure what it meant but I cried too. Timmy's gone to live with God they said.
They put Timmy's tiny body in a tiny casket in the house next to mine. My mom asked me if I wanted to say goodbye to Timmy and I was afraid to say no. We walked next door hand in hand. Timmy's dad was stern and Timmy's mom was crying.
My mom walked across the room to say goodbye but I was afraid to follow because I did not know what I would see. My mom said, "Come on and say goodbye" and Timmy's dad said, "Yes please, Timmy would like that."
I edged across the hard wood floor and I shut my eyes and did not want to look but my mom said, "Open your eyes and say goodbye, it will be alright." I opened my eyes and looked at Timmy. He lay quiet and looked peaceful and looked alright. I did not know what to say so I stared at him and then reached to feel his hair. It was blond and soft and felt alright so I put my hand on his chubby cheek to feel his skin. But Timmy's cheek wasn't soft and warm and didn't feel alright. It was cold and hard and felt like stone. Timmy startled my fingers and etched my mind when he introduced me to the stone cold feel of death when I was only nine.


where are you

I drift across my words
wondering where you are

I look behind a phrase
hopeing to find you there

a sentence about romance
opens to find you gone

I stare through verbs and nouns
and you dance before my mind

but yet a paragraph from my hand
seems not to touch your heart

maybe if I write a book
you will spend a moment with me



the sun and the clouds
tease my mind
with the game they play

will it rain
or will it not
maybe cold or maybe hot

an overt cloud
and a covert sun
take a coat

a covert cloud
with an overt sun
take a coat or maybe not

it is when
they change their minds
and switch at noon

and cause me
to shiver or sweat
and my mind to swoon

it makes me wonder
is that a fair way to play
why do they always want to ruin my day


set me free

the wind behind me
the sea below
a rock to hold me

from what, I thought
the wind, so cold to my flesh
yet so warm in my mind

the sea
so wet to my skin
yet so warm in my heart

maybe my rock holds
my mind
in some deep crevasse

waiting to be
whisked across
the sea

can my flesh
follow my mind
to the sea

maybe the wind
can make me a sail
and transport

my flesh... my soul
somewhere my mind and my heart
has dreamed to be



"the alchemist"

This  is my first attempt at a  book review and is only a reflection of my own personal feelings.  If you have read this book I would be interested in hearing your feelings.

I read great reports on the book and expected something spectacular.  Instead when I finished reading the book I felt cheated  I felt like I had been duped and had wasted my money and time.  I kept reading because I had heard such great things about it that I was sure it had to get better.  However, it didn't get better.  I was reading a story about a childish treasure hunt.   I found the book to be just that..... shallow and childish.

Maybe that is the problem.  If I had been reading it as a children's story or a fairy tale I probably would have enjoyed the book.  It is a good children's book but it is not to be confused with great writing such as "Aesop's Fables".  In fact I would classify "The Alchemist" simply as a book to be put on your child's first or second grade reading list.


special moments

a special moment does not
always need to be
of the eyes or of a sound or of a smell

but it must always be
of the heart

see, smell, listen
with your heart

special moments
are from your heart


448E 1010S

Where do you come from? I love this prompt. It seems every writing instructor uses that one at one time or another but mostly I have found it in the first part of every writing class I have taken. I always answer with the mundane. I come from where I was born and live. I was raised in Utah so I come from 448E 1010S.  That is the address of where I grew up and therefore the answer to the question.  But I know the instructor wants me to dig deeper.  The instructor wants me to write something profound.
I never have any profound, deep or clever things to say. This question always takes me back to a Ring Lardner book where one of his characters was asked the question and his answer was, “my mother’s womb,” and the character asking the questions replies with, “that’s mighty pretty country around there.”

So, whenever I get that question I always think about my mother’s womb or maybe it's Ring lardner's mother's womb.  Whichever one it is, I cannot use that since Ring Lardner used it 50 years ago.

So I always return to where I really did come from.

I come from the womb of 448E 1010S which is weird in its own right. If you think seriously about it, I really didn’t have much of chance with a beginning from a compass point.   It is easy to succeed when you come from a fancy place like 21 Arlington Place or 45 Downing Street but being wombed by a compass is a sure sign of mediocrity.

So where do I come from?

Oh well...." my mother’s womb". Sorry about that Ring.


Fool us once

While researching information for a book I am attempting to write I came upon the following quote by Thucydides.

"A nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its laws made by cowards and its wars fought by fools."
Since I live in a nation run by fools I found it interesting that the same problems have beleaguered politicians since human life began.

Obama is the epitome of a beleaguered fool.  First, his inept handling of the gulf oil spill is a disgrace to America and second, his firing of an American War General puts doom on America's warriors until he is removed from office.  Which warrior in his right mind would want to step up for this president except those that are "yes men".

A system of cronyism is bad enough when it occurs in business establishment and political circles but when you make it part of the "military system" nothing but disaster can follow.

Lee Harris writing an article for "The American"  titled "The Revolt Against Cronyism" states the following:

"There are three obvious problems with cronyism. First, it is simply unfair. Second, it stirs up resentment, because individuals with the right qualifications for a job are passed over in favor of those with the right connections. Third, and even more importantly, it invariably creates organizations where those at the top are surrounded by "yes men," who will agree with their bosses in order to curry favor and promote their own advancement."

Harris article is listed under the "government and politics" section but certainly you would have to agree that a military is part of  the government.
Competant leaders hire  competant people not "cronies"
Obama fooled us once and now it should be obvious that has no more ability to run a nation than a fourteen year old standing in the halls of a junior high school.
Yes, he a likable person with a great smile and has empathy for the poor and the "havenots" but he absolutely has no ability to lead a nation.
If he is able to fool us again we should become a second class country. 



ode to the loss of a friend
the words do not come to lament a loss
writers have written tributes
to all the great and some not so great
but who writes words
for the loss of a friend
are there words to describe the loss of a friend? 
something special should be written
but if not by me then by who
words written for others
do not seem to be right for a lost friend
special words
should be penned and said
and maybe screamed
but if not by me then by who
something written special
to remember them by
something lasting and sweet
but if not by me then by who
sorry old friend
my words are not so great
but they come from my heart
and I say what I mean
I'll miss your words
and your smiling face
there 's a whole in my heart
may God be with you
Charlie Bush
where ever you are


Little Timmy Rhobuch

Little Timmy Rhobuch

I was seven or eight or maybe nine, I really can’t remember, it’s been such a long time. Timmy’s gone I heard them say. We can’t find him anywhere.

The neighbors searched as neighbors do and the police came as they always do but Timmy was gone and we were scared.

My dad found Timmy, blue and quiet, among the tangled weeds of the water ditch. Everyone was sorry and cried for Little Timmy Rhobuch and Timmy’s dad and mom wept tears that troubled my mind.

I went to see his tiny body in his tiny coffin in his house next to mine. I saw his sweet chubby face that could not smile and his curly blond hair that could not move and I had to touch and I had to feel.

So, I laid my hand upon his face and did not find a child of two, only a face of stone.

I was seven or eight or maybe nine when little Timmy Rhobuch's chubby face of stone startled my hand and etched my mind.


Follow the story of  'Himshee', the mind taker    Weronika's "thirty day challenge"


writing the story-meeting the challenge

5-15-10 - the challenge begins.  I chose to write about a wasted mind based on an article I wrote for my writing class.
"the  mind taker" was posted on my "blog taters, maters, words and water"

5-15 thru 5-19  (Sat...Sun...Mon...Tues...Wed... I published my daily update to the story

Thur...5-20 ...  today is my birthday....happy birthday to me...published day 6 of the challenge and edited day one and day two.

edit page three..write and publish seven..7 days with 7 pages complete 2368 words....decided to buy i pad as my reward if I complete the I can't quit.

edit page four, five, six and seven....wrote and published eight...pre-write thru 19..form plan for direction of next several pages.

edited and published nine. (nine pages complete and published. 3246 words.
still on schedule

continued to prewrite, edit and outline story... noted thoughts and ideas.
completed ten and then forgt to publish but I did finish the page so I am stilll
on schedule.

published ten and completed and published eleven.
thoughts changing…new ideas emerging
Sedona, Arizona coming into my thoughts.
Finding out how important it is to have an outline
and a basic story complete before writing the full story.
This effort rapidly becoming just the outline for a real book
I hope.
I realize I need to use this as the outline.
still... I am getting a page a day and more
decided to change name of story...thinking seriously about 'Himshee'
I am not sure but I do not like..."six page mind"
the story grows
 did change the name  to"Himshee"
rewote part of part one.
 Maybe I will change the again.  Who knows?

Wed. 5-26-10..
published twelve...finally figured out that I need a new post every day
or readers will not realize I am publishing daily.  update first posts.

Thur. 5-27-10...
wrote, edited and published thirteen.  Contined to work on direction of
story.  Struggling on how to end.  need to find something good.

Fri.    5-28-10...
edit and publish fourteen...still looking for a path to the end

Sat.   5-29-10...
write edit and publish fifteen....ideas for story direction bubbling

Sun.  5-30-10...
publish sixteen.  Edit one as I have decided I need to redo one to get the
                       story to have an ending.

Mon 5-31-10...
publish seventeen. 
Edit one again.  I think I found a bridge between the
the real world and the world of 'Himshee'.
Seventeen pages complete..over 6500 words.
the challenge far so good.

Tue  6-01-10...
publish eighteen...thoughts beginning to find a tunnel for the ending.
seems blah and not exciting...will have to figure a way to keep it moving.
Editing all chapters, adding...deleting...changing phrases and word
relationships.....the words go on

Wed 6-02-10..published nineteen ( a little early...tues. night) ...
worked on ending and twenty.  have not  created any interest. 
no comments so assume no readers.  oh well...whats new
in the world of  blogging....bloggers to busywriting their own blogs..
learning that I need to create something people are interested in...
maybe a bus. blog....hey want to start a  business...ask stan...maybe a better or
catchier any ideas???
However, the challenge continues...
more than half way sure
there will be an good?????

Thur  6-03
published twenty - the deal.....internet went blank right after I finished. 
Could this be an omen to quit?...a word from the god of writers to cease and decist?

Fri  6-04      
Published twenty-one...had to publish from work as the god of the internet converses
with the god of writing about my ability to write.  Waiting for a decision. 
If they decide against me I hope I don't get zapped with a meteor from outer space.

Sat 6-05
Published twenty -two..Still publishing from work as the bickering gods cannot seem to
make a decision about me.  At least they haven't blocked me work computer.  had to drive to work on a Sat. to publish.  I am really trying to achieve my goal..9 more days to go.  I am still having problems bridging reality with non-reality.

Printed out full story on paper and ended up with 46 pages but that includes the full story that I written so far.  I am rewriting and editing as I move forward,  I have fond several typos as I read printed page.
I believe it is easier to edit after printing and also reading it aloud seems lead to changes in the flow of the paragraphs

Sun 6-06
unable to publish but did complete the page a day challenge.  did not want to go to work just to publish what no one is reading.

Mon. 6-07
forgot my memory stick and did not publish on Mon but did complete the writing

Tues.6-08  published twenty-three, twenty-four and twenty-five.  Edited twenty-six...ready to publish..
continued writing story ...pre-writing planning...found myself in a  Nebraska prairie cafe talking  to the farmers daughter

Wed - 6-09..published day twenty-six and continued writing story...a headless man is created under the green lights of the prairie.

Thurs - 6-10..published day twenty-seven...story beginning to evolve into something deeper...murder on the prairie...who's the killer...can I find out?...beginning not to like the title 'Himshee' the story evolves my mind keeps looking for a bettter title....we'll far I have met the schedule..I have enough to fulfill my page a day but I know I still have to write an additional page per day in order to complete the challenge.  I wrote 2 pages this AM but will write more tonight....couldn't wait until I finished the challenge to buy my IPad....bought it last night but forced myself to write 2 pages before I played with it.  Cost me a thousand bucks so I hope I like it.

Fri. - 6-11...published Indian folklore tale looms...researching has sent me into the ralm of buddism, dharma, the sutras and Hsu Yun...can the spirits of the plains indians unite with buddism or they realy connected in more ways than we know?...still thinking of a title change. Still on schedule..challenge almost complete...the story is growing beyond the challenge...maybe there is a real book here.

Sat. - 6-12...published 29...the farmers daughter...developing a question..creating an idea..planting a seed..I have no idea where it's going.

Sun. - 6-13...published 30... almost finished with the challenge.  story still growing and developing...the spirit of my ancestors flowing from the hoodoos of Utah to the green lights of the Nebraska more day to go to complete Weronika's challenge...maybe six months or a year or maybe longer to write the full story...the challenge ends as the story really begins...

Edit twenty-seven...found I had a problem with time frame...tried to establish the story was taking place in the late 50's or early 60's but found myself googling information for my prairie spirit.  I had to rewrite twenty-seven and edit out googling.  I doubt that it created a major problem since no one is reading the story.  It is interesting because I am actully glad no one  is reading it.  When I finish the 30 day challenge I am going to leave the story on the net for a few days to see if any one is interested and then I will remove it from the net.  However, I will continue the story and try to sell it.  If I succeed I will post a great big "YAA..HAA...HAA....GOOD FOR ME

Mon.  6-14...published final day of challenge..completed and met the challenge.  The story will continue...what happened to the "headless trooper"?...what doe it mean to the story? does it affect me?....what is my connection to the headless trooper?

Tues  6-15...published another page and my good friend Connie read and commented.  she informed me that someone has been reading my story.  thank you Connie....I am really pleased.   tomorrow I rent a room and begin a first name friendship with the headless trooper.

Wed. -6-15...did not publish..personal problems..small earth quake casue water heater leak...had to clean up and repair.

thurs. - 6-16...published another page...strting to stumble for words and how to write them...need to learn how to make the transition of thoughts be sensible.

Sat. - 6-19  Published another page..getting  harder..changed some ideas..needed to partially change direction to stay away from the offending the Indian and the spirit.
am finding there is a delicate area in the American Indian Heritage that I was unaware of.  I was headed for something that has to be rethought and maybe rewritten.

Tues. - 6-22  Published again..difficult to write and concentrate because world cup soccer is on during the time I like to write.  The story is moving but slowly.  Decided I need to go back and edit a lot.  need to ad some life to the writing and develop more characters for the prairie.

Sun. - 6-26  Published..taking longer to publish but publishing longer pages.  during the 30 day challenge I was keeping the pages between 250 to 350 words.  Now I just break when I feel it is a good time and I am adding some graphics.  Also, I am going back and editing some of the ordiginal posts.  found several typo errors. also have have revised a few lines but I an not going to do any major editing until I finish or think that I am finished.  then I will do my first complete edit.  I hope to do 3 or 4 complete edits before I try to get it published.
Discovered I am starting to lose some continuity with charactors. got part of the story confused mixing up Tom with his parents.  had to rewrite a full page.

next  I start to learn about being a investigative reporter....

Fri. - July 2...Yesterday I published 2 more parts of the story.  Considering on changing the name to "Prarie Lights".  cannot find a book with that title on google so it may be alright to use it,  gave up on being a reporter because I couldn't figure out what was worth reporting in a Los Angeles newpaper about life in the winter on a Nebraska prairie.  Maybe I should have arrived in the summer but for soem reason I made it winter.  This whole story seems to have an undercurrent that I cannot figure out.  I just made up the green lights of the prairie but when I googled the subject there have been actual green lights.  Other weird things have come up.  My daughter called and told me I needed to read the "Alchemist" and she has no idea that I am writing this story.

Mon. July 5 - read "The Alchemist" and I didn't care for it.  really a children's fable and it did not give me any insight or ideas into my story.  Also, whenver someone suggests I read a book I always wonder what the reason is and if I read the book will it change my story direction and will I be stealing ideas or even worse committing the unforgivable "pledgerism".  I am not really sure where the two break apart.

More on my struggles with "Himshee".  more and more I am not happy with the name.  I am struggling with the story.  I have "worded myself" into a corner.  I have put the writer into a small prairie town and now I am struggling with dialog, characters, direction and an ending.  maybe I shoulld write and never have an ending and change the name to "prairie soaps".

But, at this point I am going to redirect the story, have an outline and an ending and the rewrite the story.

this will be a major re-write and I am going to chane the name.  I am thinking seriously of "Little Cafe on the Prairie".  not really...that is a joke I can read to myself if I ever read what I am writing. the next of this story or my second rewrite I will start with the name "Prairie Cafe". 

1st....the first part or original part about college, wasting my mind and the city, etc. will become a dream that I am having while doing a story about our spiiritual being. 

2nd ..the time frame of the story will be the late 1950's during the rise of the hippie movement.

3rd... the whole story will take place in a cafe/bar in a small Nebraska town.

4th...I will develope characters
                  the cafe waitress, cook and owner (of both cafe and bar)
                  the bar maid and bar tender
                  motel owner
                  gas station owner
                  grocery store owner
                  depot lady (also postmaster)
                  the deputy
                  the two farmers

I am not sure if I will post the new story.  I do know that I will not longer post to "Himshee"

July 16...have sstruggled withedits and rewrites.  I am on my 4th edit and rvision.  I have restarted the story by changing the sequence of events.  I introded the "headless trooper: in the first part of the story to peak the intrest of anyone I am trying to get to publish it.  changed my charactor to a writer.  weaving oringal story plot as a dream into a writer trying to solve the mystory of a headless trooper.

Read the full story of   'Himshee'


"Himshee" by gsbatty

”I sold my mind to the soul of nothingness. To be nothing was my choice. It was a place for my mind to wallow in a sty of eternal regression. It was a place of sloth, a place to recline in the glory of mindless achievements.”

“What shall I compare it to, this fantastic thing I call my mind. To a waste-paper basket, to a sieve chocked with sediment, or a barrel full of floating froth and refuse? No, what it is really most like is a spider’s web, insecurely hung on leaves and twigs, quivering in every wind and sprinkled with dewdrops and dead flies. And at its centre, pondering forever the Problem of Existence, sits motionless the spider-like and uncanny Soul”
                               Logan Pearsall Smith

I wanted to write,
but was I a writer?
What made me think I could write?
A writer can think.
A writer can create.
A writer can make words flow.

I could not do any of these things.

Who the hell could I blame that on? I could not blame my mother. She was on my back to get an education from the first day I suckled her breast to the day I walked out of college as an uneducated graduate. She warned me, begged me, lectured me, cajoled me, threatened me and pleaded with me not to “waste my mind”.

I could not blame my father because he was on my mother’s side. He only got to the eighth grade and ended up wasting his mind by becoming a “Pipefitter-welder”. But I could never be a “Pipefitter-welder” because I could not waste my mind. When I wanted to learn to weld my dad would say, “You’re not going to waste your mind on this shit. You’re going to college.” I wasn’t even sure I wanted to go to college. Maybe I wanted to waste my mind. Maybe I just wanted to be a mindless “Pipefitter Welder”. “Not a chance”, he would say. “Your mother will not allow you to waste your mind.”

I could not blame my brother. He was even worse than my parents. “Remember little brother”, he would say, “The only thing they can’t take away from you is your mind. Don’t waste it.”

My legacy had been determined in the womb. I was going to college to create an unwasted mind. I was going to college even if I did not want to.


“I walked into the pawn shop of eternal hell
and laid my mind on the counter.
“How much can I get for this,” I asked?
“Not a hell of a lot”,
the mind taker grunted.
“It’s not worth a tinker’s dam”
and he almost laughed himself into convulsions.”

“We have rudiments
of reverence for the human body,
 but we consider as nothing
the rape of the human mind.”
                              Eric Hoffer

As I sat at my desk trying to write a story, thoughts of my family and my life passed through my mind. My story was going nowhere. I had the idea and the story but I was lost. I had started the story fifty times. I rewrote the first six pages at least twenty times but after page six my mind had no place to go. I was lost.

Maybe Elizabeth Kenny was writing about me when she wrote:
“Some minds remain open long enough
for the truth not only to enter
but to pass through
by way of a ready exit
without pausing anywhere along the route.”

I couldn’t write a word. I just sat there drumming my pencil on the desk. Nothing would come. The tapping of the pencil created some sort of hypnotic state. My mind wandered and I began live my life over and over and over. What had happened? Had I “wasted my mind”?

I smiled at my thoughts. Maybe my aunt was right when she told me the “Dragon Fly” would take my mind if I swore and I was scared because I certainly knew how to swear. She would tell that if I said bad words, “the Dragon Fly would sew my lips shut and take my mind.”  I was only four and I believed every word she said. Later in my youth I would tease other kids and tell them I was the ‘mind taker’ and I would steal their minds if they made me mad.

My mind drifted and I was in the world of the “mind taker”. I played games with the “mind taker”. The “mind taker” would save me by taking my mind so I would not worry about “wasting it”.

Most young men had wet dreams at night about sexy young girls. I was not so lucky. I had dry dreams about the “mind taker” or nightmares about the ‘mind saver’.

           ...... my hero

“This mind is almost useless, passé.
You have let all that is worth redemption die.
It is a mind of waste.
I can only give you the curse
of an eternal two lane highway to nowhere.
You will forever travel the same path.
You will be removed from the beauty of truth.”

“We can easily forgive a child
who is afraid of the dark.
the real tragedy is when
men are afraid of the light”

The “mind taker” was my hero. I smiled in my dream. I smiled about the ‘mind taker’. My dream was not about girls. My dream was about the “mind taker”. The “mind taker” would save me from my
unwanted legacy.

When I had nightmares and tossed and turned and screamed in my sleep it was not a murderer or a “boogie man”. I had nightmares about the “mind saver” urging me on towards a goal I did not want. The “mind saver” would whisper all night long. “Don’t waste your mind…”

I would wake up in a cold sweat screaming words of nothing in my mind. Then I would sit up and scream “screw you, leave me alone. It’s my mind…”

But the legacy was made. I was on the train of no return. I was not going to waste my mind.

I enrolled in a “mind growing” institution and began to create an unwasted mind.

But the government, in it all knowing ways, saved me. They said “a mind is a useless thing and need not be. But the body, now there is a thing that we really need.” They took my body for four years and left my mind lying on the floor of an economics 101 class.

“It will still be there if you ever return”, they promised.

The government was the ultimate “mind taker”. I did not have to think. I did not have to make one decision for the whole four years the government had my body.

I was happy. I had four wonderful years without the “mind saver”. I have no idea where the government put him but the government can always put things and people where it wants.

I spent my four mindless, happy years traveling the world and “reveling in the throes of booze and fornication” and my mind lay dormant on the floor of economics 101.

I had an excuse for wasting my mind. It was the government’s fault and I did not feel guilty about the legacy I was betraying.

The “mind saver” was nowhere to be found.

When my four years of mind wasting were complete, it all began again. My mother, my father, my brother, my future generations and that lousy “mind saver” all chanted over and over and over, “don’t waste your mind.”

              .... the institution

“You will not need to make room for a growing mind.
You will be forever in a rut of silage.
You will be plowed under,
only to return over and over
like a blade of grass.
Your mind will be my mind.”

"Learning without thought is labor lost;
thought without learning is perilous."

I returned to the “mind growing” institution to look for my mind on the floor of economics 101.

And my body was dormant while my mind reveled for four years in the throes of economics 101, 201, 301, econometrics, statistics, accounting, English, art appreciation and countless other mind saving studies. I studied and I crammed and I filled my mind with wonderful useless tools of information that were completely forgotten when the classes were finished.

Then it was over. I graduated from the “mind growing” institution. I deemed my mind was not wasted. I deemed my mind filling a success. I had fulfilled my legacy. The “mind growing institution” registered me as educated. I was legal. I had my papers. My mother, my father, my brother and the “mind saver” all “reveled in the throes of my education”. I threw my funny graduation cap in the air as hard as I could hoping it decapitate the “mind saver” and leave “it” lying on the floor of economics 101

          .... the treasure

“What will you do with it”, I asked?
“Nothing,” he replied,
because that is what I am.”
I will put it on the shelf of “forever lost”.
“Can I ever redeem it”, I asked?

“A lost mind is always redeemable...
 for the right price”,
he smiled.
“Cool, I said. Let’s do it.”

"The mind is the most capricious of insects
- flitting, fluttering."
                                          Virginia Woolf

I became the family “patriarch” surpassing my father and my brother, because they had wasted their minds in the world of honest sweat. I was to lead the family to newer and greater heights with non calloused hands and a sweat free body.

My mind became the “family treasure.” I, “the favored son”, had not wasted my mind. I had my papers to prove it.

I packed the “family treasure” and left the “learning institution” to conquer the world. My unwasted mind would lead the family to heights beyond their wildest dreams.

My mother, my father, my brother and my ‘future generations’ gave me a hero’s send off on the wooden platform of the train depot of my small home town. They cheered and toasted the ‘favored son’. The pride of my family radiated across our small community. Friends and neighbors came to join in and congratulate the recently papered town hero.

The train grunted and groaned and farted and coughed as it waited for the party to end. My mother, my father, my brother cried tears of joy. All of my future generations waiting to be born in to the wonderful legacy that I would create cried tears of joy. My family and my future family waved goodbye and they wept goodbye and the tears flowed. Friends and neighbors wept goodbye and their tears flowed.

The tears grew into a gigantic flood washing me onto the groaning train and into my own personal river of lamentation. I was to have my own personal “Cocytus” barring my mind from redemption.

The train talked to me with its Clickity-clack…clickity-clack…clickity-clack of the wheels and the side to side swaying of the old Pullman car.

I relaxed in the sound and the rhythm of the car. I relaxed with my ‘papered’ mind dreaming of the years to come. I dreamed about planning my life away from the “learning institution”. I dreamed about reveling in the throes of excellent booze and fornicating with the prettiest and sexiest girls in the city.

I dreamed of a life without a mind.

            ... I am still not free

The bargain was made and my mind was left behind
and I did not care.
I was happy because I had learned all I needed to know.
I did not need my mind anymore.
It had served its purpose and was useless to me.
I was smug and smiled at the stupidity of the “mind taker”.
I had made the better deal.

“The mind is like a trunk:
if well-packed, it holds almost every thing;
if ill-packed, next to nothing.”
Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare

The train tricked me. The “mind saver” was not back on the floor of economics 101. It was on the train with me. The harassment began again. “You are not through”. It said. “You have only made the first step. If you stop now, you will not only have wasted your time at the “learning institution”, you will still have a ‘wasted mind’”.

No, I groaned. I began to get sick. The clickity-clack and the rolling of the train were no longer music. The clickity-clack and the rolling of the train were making me sick. I ran to the back of the car and out the door and threw up my brand new education into the blowing wind. I was covered in the waste of my wasted mind. Please, oh please, I begged to one I did not know. Set me free of this damned curse. I have saved my wasted mind as much as I want to. Please make them let me alone.

When I returned to my seat, an elderly and distinguished looking man with eyes as blue as the sky and a smile as wide as a river, said, “Hello”. I said “where did you come from”? I began to get suspicious. “Who are you?” I asked.

He smiled and said, “I have been sent to you by the “mind saver”. I am supposed to get you to return to the “learning institution”. However I am very sure I will not be successful.” I graduated”, I said. “I am through learning. I am on my way to conquer the world.” “You will fail”, he replied. “An education never ends. An education must continue. If you do not want a ‘wasted mind’, you must continue to use it. You must let it grow. You must help it grow. You are not ready. You must return to the “learning institution”.

Before I could answer he faded into nothing. I was confused. Where did he go? People do not just appear and disappear. They walk in and walk out. I thought that I must have dozed. I got up and walked up and down the car looking for him. He was not there. I was afraid to ask about him. I was afraid of the answer I knew I would hear.

            ....white lace panties

"I did not have to worry about wasting my time
expanding a tool that was no longer necessary.
He had my useless mind sitting on the shelf of….what?
Where did he say he would put it?”

“Bodies devoid of mind
are as statues in the market place.”

When I returned to my seat, the most beautiful girl that I had ever seen was sitting in the seat that the old man had just vacated.

I was confused. She smiled and crossed a long leg exposing more than my ignored loins should have seen. I was hers. Nothing moved in my soul except the desire to have this woman. I could not speak. I could not keep my eyes from her leg and the white lace panties she was exposing for only my eyes.

“I came from the ‘mind taker’, she whispered. “Why”, I asked. “You asked for me”, she replied. “Remember, when you were out on the platform. You pleaded for help. You wanted to get rid of the ‘mind saver’. Now he, or rather that weird old man is gone and I am here to help you. What do you want?” “Right now, all I want is you”, I replied.

She uncrossed her legs and fixed her dress and my beautiful view was gone forever. “No, she smiled, you cannot have me. I only did that to get your attention.”

Disappointed, I said, “I only want a simple life. I do not want a life of learning and growing. I am tired of not wasting my mind.”

“Fine, she said. I will take you to “himshe” the 'mind taker'  and you can make a deal for your mind. If ‘Himshe’ buys your mind you will be rid of the ‘mind saver’ and you can do what you want for as long as you want.”

            ...the depot
 “My heart danced
and my feet skipped down
the street as I gloried in my success.
I had duped a fool.
Only my mind,
sitting on the shelf of “forever lost”
and the “mind taker”,
knew that the fool was me.”

“Sometimes it's harder to attain inner silence
than outer silence.
The dog stopped barking and the kids have gone to bed,
but your mind has a lot to talk about
and it knows you can't pretend you're not at home.”
                                                                  Linda Solegato

The train traveled through mountains and then somewhere in the middle of Nebraska it made an unscheduled stop in a small town with one store, one gas station and a train station without a depot. “This is where we get off”, the sexy young spirit said.

“No”, I replied. “I am going to the big city for sex and money.” “But”, she said. “The ‘mind saver’ was right. You will be eaten alive. You will fail. If the ‘mind taker’ wants your mind, the ‘mind taker’ will show you the easy road to sex and money.”

We were standing on the wooden train platform with no depot when a noisy old 39 black Ford pickup truck with a wooden flat bed and no side boards drove up. As it came to a stop it sputtered and coughed and back fired several times. The Ford pickup truck was being driven by a grizzled old man wearing a Yankee baseball cap and earmuffs. “Get on”, the grizzled old man that was driving the truck said. I stepped on to the flatbed pickup and the sexy spirit disappeared. I wondered why he wore the earmuffs on a hot day. The old man stepped on the gas and the truck tore away from the wooden train platform without a depot and I knew why the old man wore the earmuffs. The truck coughed and sputtered and backfired so loud that I wished I had the earmuffs. He tore down the road as fast as the old truck could go and never slowed down for the bumps on the old dirt road. I thought I would fall off but I didn’t. The wind was blowing my hair as the old truck sped and bumped across the Nebraska Plains. There was nothing to hold on to and nothing to see. The sense of time ceased to exist. There was just the old man, the truck, the prairie and me.

Then the truck stopped and a strange being was sitting by the road in an old wooden chair. “Come in”, the strange being said. “Have a seat.” A chair appeared from nowhere and I was sitting in it across the dirt prairie road from the strange being. The old man and the truck were gone.

“Redeem it...Redeem my mind...Why?”
I lectured in the halls of nowhere
to the mindless souls that would listen.
I did not need it anymore.
I was happy the way I was.
I was successful.
I had a path to walk
and a road to follow."

“You must weed your mind
as you would weed your garden.”
                             Astrid Alauda

I tried to get up and move my chair closer to the strange being. “Do not do that,” the strange being said. You are walking on my desk. I do not want dirt on my desk. His eyes seemed black but when he spoke with his warning they actually changed to green. He relaxed and eyes returned to black. His lips were full and round and his teeth flashed white when he smiled. His head was bald except for a 3 inch tuft of red hair growing straight up from the top of it. He was small and looked frail and weak but when he spoke the earth seemed to move.

“I am ‘Himshee’, the ‘mind taker,’ a voice boomed. I have guided you in the past and now the sexy one tells me you want to sell your mind.” “Why are you called ‘Himshee’, I asked?”

“I am ‘Himshee’ because I am neither male nor female,” the voice said. “I am a spirit of the mind. I am and I am not. That is all you need to know.” “What do you want for your mind?”

I thought for what seemed like hours but there really wasn’t any time. I had no idea how long I had been there. It could have been seconds or hours or days. I was trying to figure out how much I could get for my mind. I smiled to myself. It was like getting three wishes from a Genie. I wondered what my mind was really worth. I wondered what I could get for it. The sexy one said I could get a great job and a sexy woman of my own so that is what I asked for.

             ... i sold me

“But my path,
my road
was a destiny of forever denial.
It was a destiny
I could not betray.
I had sold the tool of escape.
I had sold the only tool
I had to learn and grow.
I had sold me.
I was happy wallowing
in my sty of eternal regression.”

“Minds, like bodies,
will often fall into a pimpled,
ill-conditioned state
from mere excess of comfort.”
                          Charles Dickens

I said, “I want a sexy woman of my own just like the sexy one and I want a great job on Money Street. I want a seat on the “Money Market Exchange.”

“You drive a tough bargain,” himshe replied. But first, I will need to inspect your mind.” “Please, sit it here on my desk.” “How,” I said? “Just take it out of your head and set it on the desk”, ‘Himshee’ snickered. “Maybe your brain isn’t worth as much as you thought.”

I put my hands to my head and my brain appeared. I tried to hand it to himshe but he said, “I told you to put it on the desk.” I set it down on the road but it never touched the dirt. It just hovered in the air. It hovered about 3 feet off the ground and gave off a weird green light. I expected it to start talking with ‘Himshee’ but it made no sound at all.

“Not bad, not bad at all,” ’Himshee’ said. ‘Himshee’ wasn’t talking to me; ‘Himshee’ was talking to the wind. “It has a lot of storage and capacity,” ‘Himshee mumbled. Then “Himshee’s’ voice boomed again and “Himshee’s’ eyes flashed green, “Well you certainly haven’t over used this thing,” ‘Himshee’ mused.

I could hear the wind whistling through my mind.

“No wonder the “mind saver” was after you.” Do you know what the ’mind saver’ is called? The ‘mind saver’ is called ‘Herhee’.” “Isn’t that the dumbest name you have ever heard?” Then ‘Himshee’ laughed and the laughter was like thunder. ‘Himshee’s’ laughed echoed across the Nebraska prairie.

‘Himshee’ continued to inspect the floating blob that was my mind. “Your mind is almost empty. You have not even begun to use it. It is not worth a “tinker’s dam,” “Himshee’ chortled and the laughter echoed across the prairie again.

         eleven...evil grins

“My mind was slowly dying on the shelf of “forever lost”.
The “mind saver” haunted my dreams.
But the dream was only a dream.
I was happy.
I continued backward.
My mind continued to slowly die.”

“There are some that only employ words
    for the purpose of disguising their thoughts

I felt as if I was in the pawn shop of eternal hell and a cold chill ran down my spine. “What will you give me,” I managed to blurt out.

‘Himshee’s’ round lips smiled and the eyes flashed green. “I will give you a mindless sexy girl and a job on Money Street but not a seat on the exchange. I am saving that job for someone that has created a better mind than this.” ‘Himshee’s’ grin was eternally evil.

“However,” ‘Himshee’ continued. “If you accept the deal you also get the curse of the eternal two lane highway to nowhere. You will forever travel the same path. You will be removed from the beauty of truth. You will not need to make room for a growing mind. You will be forever lost in a rut of silage. You will be plowed under only to return over and over like a blade of grass. Your mind will belong to me.”

“What will you do with it”, I asked? “Nothing,” ‘Himshee’ replied, because that is what I am.” I will put it on the shelf of “forever lost”. “Can I ever redeem it”, I asked?

“A lost mind is always redeemable for the right price”, ‘Himshee’ smiled.

“Will I have to deal with the ‘mind saver’, I asked?

“I cannot take your complete mind. I must leave you a part of it so you can function. A small part of what I leave you will float in the river “Cocytus” and you will lament this deal until you figure a way out. The ‘mind saver’ patrols the river Cocytus looking for those like you. If you decide you want him bad enough he will find you. It will be up to you as to whether you want to buy your mind back. The price will not be cheap.”

   you sold your mind

“My body continued to walk the road of nowhere.
Was there ever to be redemption?
What was down that lost road?
Would I ever find a way to redeem me?
Would the “mind taker” still be open
or would he be closed for eternity
nd have taken my mind with him.”

"Men are not prisoners of fate,
but prisoners of their own minds."
                                                               Franklin D. Roosevelt

My mind swirled. Sex, money and power were all I ever wanted. How could it be a bad deal? Why would I ever lament a life like that?

Cool, I said. Let’s do it.

Instantly ‘Himshee’ was gone. My mind was gone and the chairs were gone but the Ford pickup truck with a flat wooden bed was there. This time it was being driven by an ugly old hag with rotten teeth and missing one ear.

“So you sold your mind”, she cackled. I started to reply but she began to laugh and laugh and her laughter echoed across the Nebraska prairie. “Get on”, she demanded.

Instantly I was on the back of the Ford pickup truck with a wooden flatbed and the wind was blowing in my face. She drove the truck even faster that the old man. We arrived at the train platform with no depot and the train grunted and groaned and farted and coughed as it waited for me to get on board without my mind.

I took my seat and the train continued cross the Nebraska prairie. I looked out the window hoping to get one last glimpse of my savior, ‘Himshee’, the ‘mind taker’. There was nothing to see and the cackle of the old hag echoed in my mind and I was cold.

The bargain was made and my mind was left behind and I did not care. I was happy because I had learned all I needed to know. I did not need my mind anymore. It had served its purpose and was useless to me. I was smug and smiled at the stupidity of the ‘mind taker’. I had made the better deal. I did not have to worry about wasting my time expanding a tool that was no longer necessary. He had my useless mind sitting on the shelf of….what? Where did he say he would put it?

           ….the fool is me

“I did not asked nor look.
I did not need to know because
I was still happy wallowing
in my sty of intellectual filth.”

“Be careful of your thoughts,
they may become words at any moment.”
                                     Iara Gassen

My heart danced and my feet skipped to the beat of the train as I gloried in my success. I had duped a fool.

Only my mind, sitting on the shelf of “forever lost” and the “mind taker” knew that the fool was me. They knew that I had really duped myself.

And I shivered and my feet dance to the tune of the cackling old hag.

The train delivered me to the big city and spit me out like a chaw of tobacco. It grunted and groaned and farted and coughed as it waited for me to get off. As I stepped off the train I was sure it was laughing at me. But what was left of my mind told me it was the cackling of the old hag echoing from the Nebraska Prairie?

The platform at the railroad station in the big city was not wood. It was not warm. It was not inviting. It was cold cement. When I stepped off the train it was mid-day and the sun was beating down on the hard cold platform. The air was muggy and sweat dripped off the faces of the millions of lost souls shuffling on the cold platform.

The millions of lost souls shunned me and I was alone. A chill ran down my back and I shivered on the cold platform. The old hag’s cackle echoed up and down the cold hard cement of Money Street.

I walked the cold streets to a cold office and a cold flat and there was no sun. There were only the shadows of the cold cement buildings.

I arrived. I was where I chose to be and they accepted me. I was as cold as the cement, the buildings, the office and my flat. I was home.
My future generations threw up in disgust.
My mother, my father and my brother were floating in the clouds of naivety. They believed I was a hero.
I began my legal robbing of the masses.

        …. street of ghouls

“Directions taken in life
are not always the roads we should travel.
We hear the lies and we believe
or we hear truth
and we choose not to believe.
We do not take the time
to see if the roads we take
end up
in waterless wastelands
or pastures of peace.”

“Nothing is at last sacred
but the integrity of your own mind.”
                              RALPH WALDO EMERSON

Who ever said
"the Mind is a terrible thing to waste"
was right.
I was out to prove it.

The cold hard cement of Money Street was good to me. It gave me cold hard cash to revel in the throes of mindless drinking and a cold hard mindless sexy waitress to satisfy my long forgotten loins. I made the cold hard mindless waitress my wife so I could always come home from my mindless drinking to guaranteed cold hard mindless sex.

Soon I was revered on the cold cement of Money Street. I was looked up to for my ability to cheat the masses from their money. I discovered that all the souls on Money Street were also mindless ghouls. We had no compassion. Money was our only God. And we were good at what did. I became famous. I lectured to those that would consider selling their minds.

I lectured in the halls of nowhere to the mindless souls that would listen. I did not need a mind anymore. “Will you ever redeem your mind,” I was asked by an intelligent soul whom had kept his mind.

“Redeem it...Redeem my mind...Why?” I was happy the way I was. I was successful. I had a path to walk and a road to follow. I only needed to stay where I belonged.

My path, my road was a destiny of forever denial. It was a destiny I could not betray. I had sold the tool of escape. I had sold the only tool I had to learn and grow. I had sold my mnd. I had sold my soul. I had sold me. And the 'mind saver wept.

And the old hag’s cackle echoed down the cold hard cement of “Money Street”.

I was happy wallowing in my sty of eternal regression.

            ….a classy woman

"When I awoke I found myself
in a waterless wasteland
wondering what happened
to my pasture of peace.
I tried to shake the horror
from my mind
but I had no mind.
I sold my mind for lust and greed.
My pasture of peace was a wasteland of hell."

“The mind is its own place,
and in itself,
can make heaven of Hell,
and a hell of Heaven.”
                                   John Milton

The cold hard cement of Money Street took my mindless sexy waitress and gave her to some other fool. Then the cold hard mindless judge gave part of my cold hard cash to the mindless waitress whore and her lover.

And the cackle of the old hag grew even louder.

For the first time in my life I felt a pang of regret. My cheated loins shrank in self pity. I went to the used book store at the end of Money Street to seek solace and I met a woman with class.

The classy woman did not care about the cold hard cement of Money Street or the cold hard cash that Money Street provided.

There was no way in hell the woman with class would want a fool without mind. But for some reason the classy woman did. The classy woman saw something in me that I did not know was there. She knew my mind and had talked to my mind.

The classy woman introduced me to the man who had my mind.

‘Himshee’ the ‘mind taker’ had lied to me. He did not put my mind on the “shelf of forever lost”. ‘Himshee’ sold it to someone who really wanted a good mind. ‘Himshee’ sold it to the owner of the used book store at the end of Money Street.

The man who had my mind was good. The man who had my mind used it well but the man who had my mind died and my mind was returned to ‘Himshee’.

The classy woman was sad and we grew closer and I began to desire my mind back. I wanted to talk with the classy woman about classy things and I couldn’t.

       ...the dusty road back

"I wandered in my wasteland of hell
seeking a way back.
but there was no way back.
I discovered you cannot retrieve back.
Back can only be a lesson
to be lamented
or used for growth.
I chose to grow.
I chose to fight for me.
I chose to seek my mind."

“I don't wait for moods.
You accomplish nothing if you do that.
Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.”
                                                           WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

And I walked the cold hard cement of Money Street with my head hung low, my loins in fear and my ego gone. And the street shattered beneath me and I was lost. ‘Himshee’, the ‘mind taker’ chortled as I fell. The cackle of the old hag echoed from the broken cold cement to the Nebraska prairie.

And the ‘mind saver’ called for me and the classy lady heard him. The classy lady told me the ‘mind saver’ was waiting and I was too proud to admit my stupidity but the classy lady prevailed.

I stood on the cold hard platform of the train depot with the old hag’s cackling echoing in my ears. The train hissed and moaned and grunted and farted as I boarded to leave the city, defeated and broke. The mind saver was waiting and I was scared. Would I be able to get my mind back? I could hear ‘Himshee’s’ roar rumble up and down the old dirt road he called a desk.

“Why do I have to see ‘Himshee’? I thought I was going to see the ‘mind saver’?” I mumbled these things as I watched the Nebraska prairie begin to form in the distance. The old man with blue eyes and the big smile said. “You sold your mind to ‘Himshee’. You must buy it back. It will not be easy and it will not be cheap.” ‘Himshee’ is expecting you.” “What did you do with the classy lady”, I asked? “She is with ‘the mind saver’,” the blue eyed one replied. “She will be there if you need her.

            ...two minute warning

 “Coming back
in the world of screwed up minds
it is not like coming back in a game of sports
it is much more serious than that.
it is your life and your future.
if you fail,
there is not another game
and maybe not another tomorrow.”

“Some minds seem almost to create themselves,
springing up under every disadvantage
and working their solitary
but irresistible way
through a thousand obstacles.”
                                            Washington Irving

The prairie ran by and I wondered what the blue eyed one meant. After he finished his words he faded away again and I could only think of the Cheshire cat under the ground in Kansas. I expected the sexy one but she did not come. The train stopped at the depot with no depot on the Nebraska plains and whistled and moaned and grunted and farted while I departed to the old wooden platform. And the train left and I was alone. The 39 Ford pickup truck was not there. No one was there. No one was waiting for me, and no one came for me so I began to walk.

I could feel ‘Himshee’ out there somewhere on the Nebraska prairie waiting in his wooden chair sitting behind his dusty dirty desk. I walked the dusty dirty desk for days. I had no water but I was never thirsty.

I wondered what I could say to him. What did I have to offer that would get my mind back? What would ‘Himshee’ demand? Would ‘Himshee even sell me my mind? I had an idea. I formed a plan. I asked the ‘mind saver’ to help me.

I felt the spirit of ‘Himshee’ and I was cold. I felt ‘Himshee’s’ voice laugh long before I heard it and long before I saw ‘Himshee’s’ form. In the darkness of the night ‘Himshee’s’ green eyes were like a beacon light on the coast of Maine except it wasn’t wet and it wasn’t cold. It was dry and it was hot and I was freezing cold. The closer I got to ‘Himshee’ and those wicked green eyes the hotter and dryer the prairie became and the colder I became.

            …and I was ashamed

“Do not ask or beg
for mercy
if you are responsible
for where you find your mind.
There is only one person
that you can look to for blame.”

“When you are look long into an abyss,
the abyss looks into you.”
                                    Friedrich Nietzsche

Then ‘Himshee’ was before me but ‘Himshee’ wasn’t sitting in his wooden chair on the side of the dusty desk road.

‘Himshee’ was floating above his dirty dusty desk. ‘Himshee’ was naked but the nakedness was not the nakedness of a human. It was the nakedness of a spirit. ‘Himshee’ was a spirit of floating green gas. ‘Himshee’ began to laugh and the laughter engulfed me and I was even colder.

“So you return for your mind”, the green spirit of the ‘mind taker’ said.

“Why”, the spirit asked? And the question boomed like the clap of thunder from an angry cloud. The green spirit grew and could be seen from Canada to the north and Mexico to the south and the plains were ablaze in the green fire of the nasty spirit. “Why?” The voice boomed again. And the word echoed through my mind and into the souls of my heritage. Why...Why...Why...Why...Why?

I could not speak. I was like a three year old child standing before an irate abusive father. And I was ashamed. And my heart was a heart of woe and fear.

I understood I had been wrong. I understood that I had been betrayed by my greed. I understood that I had been betrayed by my loins. I understood that I had been the fool. I understood that my mother, my father, my brother and my unborn heritage wept in shame and their tears of shame were flowing into the river of lamentation…The river ‘Cocytus’. And the ‘mind saver’ entered what was left of my mind and spoke to me.

“Do not cower before this evil,” he whispered. “Be strong and he will cower before you. You cannot hide from your past. Tell him what you seek.” And for the first time in my life I listened.

    mind returns

“I looked to the ‘mind saver’ for redemption.
I had never walked alone and I was afraid.
Look to your heart for courage.
You must do it on your own
or you will have nothing.”

“Ignorance is the night of the mind,
but a night without moon and star. “

My resolve returned. I grew before the green spirit. “I came for my mind. I want it back”, I said with a voice stronger than I felt.

“I’m sorry”, the green spirit replied. “I sold it to the owner of a book store. I do not have it.” “The man who bought my mind died and it was returned,” I replied. “Where is it”? “Died?” the spirit said. “I did not know that. I will ask the keeper of the ‘shelf of forever lost.’’ The sexy one appeared. “Has his mind been returned”, the green spirit asked? “Yes”, he sexy one replied. “It is here”. “Get it”, ‘Himshee’ demanded.

And the green blob that was once my mind hovered above the dirt desk with ‘Himshee’. ‘Himshee’ engulfed the blob in own spirit of green. “Good”, ‘Himshee’ said. “The owner of the book store took better care of it than you did. He actually nurtured it and helped it grow. You are lucky that he died. If he still lived you would not be able to get your mind back.” “Unless you killed him for it”, “Himshe’ snickered.

“What will you do with it if I ‘sell’ it back to you?” ‘Himshee’ asked.

“I will write”, I replied.

And ‘Himshee’s’ laughed echoed across the Nebraska prairie. “You will write with what? I have your mind and I have watched the way you lived. The only thing that you are qualified to write about is porn and lousy porn at that.” ‘Himshee’ loved his own words and he laughed and from somewhere out in the dark I could hear the old hag laughing with him.

             ...the deal

"I looked to my heart
and to the spirits of my ancestors.
I went to the place where my ancestors
begat my heritage
and they blessed me
with a dream catcher from the vortex"

"The Nut Garden holds things felt and thought,
and feeling for thought is always a palace

Sinai with flames of fire about it,
burning though never by fire devoured.

On all four sides surrounded so,
entrance is barred to pretenders forever.

For one who learns to be wise, however,
its doors are open toward the East:

he reaches out and takes a nut,
then cracks its shell, and eats..."
                                           Joseph Gikatilla

“The ‘mind saver’ has agreed to help me,” I replied. “I am going to use my mind like it was designed to be used. I will make my mind the controller of my destiny. I will no longer live as an animal.” “I want my mind back and I am willing to pay your for it.”

‘Himshee’s wicked green spirit turned into a Cheshire cat smile the covered the whole sky. “I do not want nor need money,” ‘Himshee said. “What can you, a man without a mind, offer me?”

Then, I smiled. The ‘mind saver’ told me about ‘Himshee’s’ Achilles heel. ‘Himshee’ had an ego larger than the prairie he lives on.

“I will write a story about you,” I promised. “I will write a novel about ‘Himshee’ the ‘mind taker’. I will make you famous.” “I will write a novel and a book of poetry about you.”

“I am already famous,” ‘Himshee’ replied.

“The only souls that know of ‘Himshee’ are the souls that have sold you their minds,” I laughed.

‘Himshee’ presented his spirit as it as when I first met it. His green wicked spirit became the strange man in the wooden chair sitting in front of his dusty road desk. My mind hovered above the dusty road desk emitting green pulsating color waves that drifted out across the prairie.

I had touched the ego of ‘Himshee’. “Let’s talk”, a calm business like voice said. The sexy one appeared and sat on the wooden arm of the chair. The old man and the old hag drove up in their 39 Ford pickup truck with a wooden flatbed on the back.

          ...the negotaition

"The dream catcher seemed to have a strange power over ‘Himshee’.
As long I had the dream catcher,
‘Himshee’ was a fading memory.
But, I knew ‘Himshee” was not gone.
‘Himshee’ would never be gone."

“If the mind, that rules the body,
ever so far forgets itself
as to trample on its slave,
the slave is never generous enough
to forgive the injury,
but will rise and smite the oppressor.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

My mind was still radiating the waves of green light.

“What is my mind doing,” I asked? “It is asking me to send you away,” ‘Himshee’ said. “You mistreated it and it does not want to return to you.”

“Absolutely not true”, the “mind saver’ said. I looked towards the voice and the ‘mind saver’ was sitting in a wooden chair across the dusty road desk from ‘Himshee’. “His mind was sending for me.”

“And me”, a voice from my right said. I looked and the classy one was sitting in a wooded chair across from ‘Himshee”. The classy one responded to the strange look on my face. “You need help”, she said. “Negotiating with ‘Himshee’ without a mind is not a good idea.”

The negotiations for my mind began with the ‘mind saver’, me and the classy one sitting on one side of the dirt road desk and ‘Himshee’ with the sexy one sitting on his lap were sitting on the other side of the dirt road desk.

The old hag and the old man were sitting behind ‘Himshee’ and the sexy one. They were sitting on the fenders of the Ford pickup truck. They had their elbows leaning on the bulbous headlights that jutted upward from the thick steel fenders. Their heads were leaning on their hands sort of cocked to one side. They looked bored and uninterested. I wondered why they were there. Were they just spectators that paid for a ring side seat to watch the “lion” eat his prey, or were they really more important to my mind and the negotiations than I knew?

‘Himshee’ smiled at the ‘mind saver’, his eyes flashed green and he said, “So ‘herhe’, we meet again.”

            ...‘Himshee’ retreats

"I knew ‘Himshee’ would return.
‘Himshee' would always return.
I would always be fighting ‘Himshee’
or those that worshipped
the world of the forgotten mind."

In order to learn the most important lesson of life,
one must each day surmount a fear.
                                         Ralph Waldo Emerson

The ‘mind saver’ did not smile. “I am not ‘herhe’,” he whispered across the dirt road desk. “I am ‘Hermenne’, the ‘savor of minds’.” “I am ‘Hermenne’ named after ‘Hermeneutics’ the God of theory and the God of understanding and interpretation of linguistic and non-linguistic expressions.

‘Hermenne’s’ deep blue eyes radiated in the darkness and the sky lit up as if the sun was at mid-day. ‘Himshee’s’ small frame sank further into the wooden chair. “The one with the missing mind has made an offer for its return,” “Hermenne’ continued. “Do you accept?”

“How can I know that what he offers will happen”, ‘Himshee asked? “He has promised me fame. He has promised to write books and poetry about me. Even if I sell him back his mind, it is not capable of writing anything more than pornography. Even with the improvements the book store owner made with it, he still will not be capable of writing anything more than sing-a-song ditties that rhyme but mean nothing.

His only ability to write will be this new blog thing that half the world is doing. No one reads those blogs. If he were to write a blog about me the only ones that would read it would be the “sexy one’, the “old man with earmuffs’ and the ‘old hag’ and they would only read it because I told them to. That will not make me famous.”

“True,” ‘Hermenne’ said. But he has promised to improve the mind. He is going to return to the learning institution. But first he going to meditate and prepare his mind and body in the temple of Zion. He will sit naked on the white dome and soak in the spirit of his ancestors. The mind will hover above a sea of “hoodoos” to cleanse itself of the degenerative filth that he filled it with.

      ….new beginning

"The forces of sloth are continually pushing at my mind.
My mind is finally starting to push back."

"I don't wait for moods.
You accomplish nothing if you do that.
Your mind must know it has got to get down to work."
                                                              Pearl S. Buck

I did not even enter into the discussion. I just sat there and listened and nodded my heard. Whatever ‘Hermenne’ said I was ready to do. But I was somewhat concerned about sitting naked on the white throne of Zion. I was sure I wouldn’t like it but I knew I had a lot of atoning to do to make up for my life in the big city.

‘Himshee’ was agreeable but wanted my atonement to be supervised. The old man with the earmuffs would sit with my mind on the top of the hoodoo and I would get to sit naked in the company of the old hag.

I looked at the old hag and told her if she cackled about my naked manhood I would throw her off the white temple of Zion.

The deal was made and my life began again. Life is strange in many ways and sometimes downright nasty to you. I should have been lying dead in some alley in the big city but I was granted another try and I was determined to make the best of it.

My journey began on the back of the old 39 Ford pickup truck. The old man with earmuffs was driving and the old hag was shotgun. I sat naked on the flatbed contemplating my mind hovering above the truck bed. The road was long and cold but for some reason my naked body did not feel the cold. What was left of the mind in my body was slowly connecting with the mind outside of my body. My body was only a receptacle along for the ride. My body bounced and jerked with the bouncing and jerking of the truck. My mind floated along in a smooth line never seeming to know the truck was even moving. It emitted green pulsing waves.

          ...the road back

“A mind that spends too much time
in a pig sty
requires special cleaning.”

“As long as the mind is enslaved,
the body can never be free.
Psychological freedom,
a firm sense of self-esteem,
is the most powerful weapon
against the long night of physical slavery”.
                                                  M. L. King

The old truck bounced across Nebraska and into Colorado always keeping to the dusty dirty unpaved roads. The old man with the earmuff only stopped for gas in the small towns that kept themselves away from the evil of the modern world. He would wait for the attendant to pump the gas and then pay with cash and ask the attendant to bring him two bottles of Coke. The old man and the old hag would bet on who would get the bottle that was from the bottling plant that was the longest distance from way from where we were at the time. I had no idea what they were betting about and when the truck started its banging and backfiring I could not understand a word they said.

Instead of going across Colorado and into Utah they drove south into New Mexico and then into Arizona. They were not heading for Zion; they were heading for Sedona and the Vortexes.

I sat in a lotus position and contemplated my separated mind the whole trip. I was not aware of the plan to go to the vortices and I had no idea what they were doing. They drove directly to the vortex at the creek of Cathedral Rock.

The old man with the earmuffs stopped the truck and the truck backfired and farted and belched and the radiator spouted steam and I knew it had belched its last backfire.

The old man and the hag left the truck and came back to the flat bed and talked to me for the first time. He took off his earmuffs and said,” My name is John”. The old hag did not cackle but smiled a toothless grin and she said, “My name is Helen”. They both said, “Thank you,” in the voice of one and then they turned and walked into the Vortex of the Creek of Cathedral Rock and the Vortex accepted them and then the vortex spoke to me.

“Zion waits, your destiny is there.”


                 ….the dirt of my blood

“The blood of my loins
comes from the red dirt of the canyons.
The blood of my heritage floats through the canyons
and echoes among the hoodoos.”

“It does not matter how slowly you go
so long as you do not stop.”

I walked naked and alone with my mind. No one noticed or cared about my naked body. I began walking north toward Zion. My mind followed or led or floated beside me and I tried to communicate with it but I was not making any connection. I decided I had months or years of atonement before my mind would accept a union with my body and what little part of my mind the ‘mind taker’ had left me. My mind was acting like a scorned woman

Instead of staying with me in the canyon of Zion my mind went east to the castles of hoodoo in the holy land of Bryce. While I meditated on the white throne of Zion my mind communicated with my heritage among the hoodoos of Bryce.

The classy woman sat with me on the white throne in the canyon of Zion as I meditated and listened to the ancient drums of my heritage.

The red of the canyon re-entered my body and it began to heal. The spirits among the hoodoos of Bryce strengthened the spirit of my mind and it was whole again.

The ‘mind savor’ reunited my body with my mind above the mighty Arizona “Grand Canyon”. I had atoned. My body and my mind were one again. Together as one again my mind and my body soared across the valleys of the Canyons. I had a second chance. I must not deny my heritage again. My mother, my father, my brother and future generations from my repentant loins all reveled in the throes of my extended education.

         …reality returns

“Once a bargain is made
turning back is not easy.
Those you made your bed with
do not want you to change.”

“The mind that is wise mourns less
for what age takes away;
than what it leaves behind.”
                                       Pearl S. Buck

‘Himshee’ demanded that I return. “Why had I been reunited with my mind”, a very upset ‘Himshee’ asked? I had not written a word about him. There was no poetry about him. There was no book about him. He was not getting famous. I had lied to him. I had lied to ‘Hermenne’. He demanded that I return my mind to him. “Himshee’ began to flash green but ‘Hermenne’s’ spirit was the stronger. ‘Hermenne’ would not be intimidated.

‘Hermenne’ said “no, he cannot fulfill the bargain unless the mind and the body are reunited.” He has atoned and is going to take his mind back to the institution of “higher-higher” learning.”

I exhaled a sigh of relief and gratitude, but ‘Himshee’ would have the last word. ‘Himshee’ became the green spirit again but this time the spirit seemed to be a dancing flame and my body felt like it was in the pit of hell. The green flame crackled and the voice of the old hag spit from the hell of the green fire and screamed “I will always be near and if you fail the bargain, I will rip your mind from your worthless body.

The green fire engulfed me and I felt the deadly spirit of ‘Himshee’ frying my bones and cooking my lungs and then I was free and the green fire was gone and the room was cold and I passed out.

I woke up agitated. It was like waking from a bad dream that you cannot remember. I felt that something terrible had happened but I couldn’t remember what it was. My mind couldn’t find a home. It fluttered between the reality of my messy desk and the confusion of my dream. The “dream catcher” fluttered in the breeze that was coming through the open window next to my desk.

             … concert of the zithers

"If you love those that
created your heritage,
you owe it to them
to make
you atonement complete."

“Few minds are sunlike,
sources of light in themselves and to others:
many more are moons
that shine with a borrowed radiance.
One may easily distinguish the two:
the former are always full;
the latter only now and then,
when their suns are shining full upon them.”
                                                          Augustus William Hare
                                                           and Julius Charles Hare

I touched the “dream catcher” and my hand tingled and burned and a vision of a green light above the Nebraska Prairie was painted over the canvas of my mind. A cold chill wrapped around my body and I was confused. What was I supposed to remember? Something was there, but what? The green prairie kept coming back. What the hell, I thought. I’m not getting anywhere with my story, I’ll change to something else. But writing about a green spirit on the Nebraska prairie was a story idea that seemed to be just a little bit more than weak.

It seemed weak at first but the thoughts and the dreams persisted. I spent hours at the library researching prairie lights, Nebraska prairie lights, Nebraskan Aurora borealis, Nebraska Indian spirits and anything else I could think of about lights and Nebraska and prairie spirits. I found vague references to strange spirits at a place called Hat Creek but I could find nothing solid.

My dreams continued I saw a vision of a “Creek” and a strange green fog appeared and with it came a sense of dread, of sadness, of pain. It was neither natural nor friendly. It moved with intelligence and malice.  It was somewhere on the Nbraska Pairie.

I knew I had to make a trip to the Nebraska prairie and I was making plans to drive my car but visions of a train thundering across a green prairie haunted me. I knew I was going to make the trip by train. I bought the ticket wondering what the hell I was doing.

The train traveled east across the white expanse of frozen prairie. I stared out my window watching the tops of the brown prairie grass shimmer above the white snow. The wind of the train combined with the wind from the prairie and together they played an eerie concert of a hundred zithers. I attempted to write a poem to describe the moment but my mind couldn’t let go of the brown grass above the drifting snow. A picture of the hoodoos of the canyons drifted through my mind. The concert of the zithers enchanted my mind and I dozed. I dreamed of a green prairie spirit that was searching for me.

      …the prairie

“I cleansed my mind
so my body could be whole.
I cleansed my body
so my mind could be whole”

"The mind I love must have wild places,
a tangled orchard where dark damsons drop
in the heavy grass, an overgrown little wood,
the chance of a snake or two,
a pool that nobody's fathomed the depth of,
and paths threaded with flowers
planted by the mind."
                                  Katherine Mansfield

I awoke as the train was pulling into the depot of the small Nebraska town. It was mid-afternoon and the sky was covered with low gray clouds that seemed to be telling me that it was going to get even colder than it looked through the window of the train. I stepped out onto wooden platform to a blast of a frigid wind from the north. I stood on the wooden platform and looked across the prairie. The cold wind blasted my face and my eyes watered. I ducked my head and tried to hide inside my waist length jacket. Dam, I thought, I am not dressed for this kind of weather. What was I thinking? A train conductor dumped my bag on the platform.

I picked up the bag and walked across the wooden platform to a small one room depot. I opened the door and the heat from a pot bellied stove felt good. I entered the warmth of the depot and slammed the door behind me. A neatly dressed elderly lady with reading glasses perched on the bridge of her nose smiled and nodded but said nothing. I went to the phone hanging on the wall and dialed the operator and placed a collect call to my wife. When she answered I simply said, “Hi babe, I’m here.” “What’s it like,” she asked? “Lonely cold and desolate,” I replied. “I’m in a one room train depot looking through a dirty window at a very small town.

I looked through the window opposite the door and described a small store, a gas station, a café and several 2 story buildings taking up residence up and down a one lane street. There were several pickup trucks parked diagonally in front of the store and the cafe. The gas station had a light shining through a dirty window but I couldn’t see any signs of activity. Wispy white smoke drifted from several of buildings chimneys.

She asked me if I had a Place to stay. I shivered as I viewed the scene before me. What was I doing here? I hadn’t even made reservations at a motel. Hell, I didn’t even know if there was a motel in this place. I was wondering where I was going to stay but I lied to her and said, “The lady here in the station says that one of the buildings is a small hotel.” The train pulled away from the wooden platform leaving me stranded in a cold Nebraska prairie town. The lady in the depot closed her window and went out a side door without saying a word. I told my wife I loved her and said goodbye.

         …waitress and pie

“The mind and the body are ruled
by the wind,

the sea
and the earth.
They are separated as one
but united as two.
Your goal is to

and conquer both.”

“Impressions arriving at the brain
make it enter into activity,
just as food falling into the stomach
excites it to more abundant secretion of gastric juice.”
                                            Pierre Cabanis

I picked up my small traveling bag and opened the door of the depot to another blast of cold wind and walked out of the warm air and up the cold street toward the café. A cold wind from the past blew through my mind. A naked man was sitting on a white throne of stone. A woman came to warm his soul.

The café had no name. It was just called café and was announced by a withered sign hanging above the door. The word “café” was painted in red block lettering that was cracked and peeling off. The chains that held the sign to the post creaked in the wind. I opened the glass door to the café and a little bell tinkled announcing my entrance. The depot lady was just sitting down in a booth close to the café’s pot bellied stove. The café was warm and smelled of coffee and fresh baked apple pie. Two men wearing black goulashes and blue bib overalls were seated at the end of a red counter. The both wore hats that had ear flaps but the flaps were pulled up and didn’t cover their ears. They were drinking coffee and turned towards each other in deep conversation.

When I entered they stopped their conversation and looked at me. They looked for a moment and then went back to their conversation as if I wasn’t there. Seated three stools to their left was a short pudgy man dressed in a police uniform. Lying on the counter next to a small plate with a slice of apple pie was a state trooper’s hat. He was working a crossword puzzle and sipping his coffee. He nodded and returned to his puzzle.

I walked to the pot bellied stove and stood in front of it. I sat my bag down and put my hands next to the stove to warm them. I had only walked a block and a half in the cold Nebraska wind and I was shivering. The waitress came out of the kitchen and told the depot lady that her order was coming up. Then she looked at me and asked where I was going plop my butt. I pointed to an empty table next to the stove and said, “I’ll have a coffee.”

When she turned to get the pot her long black hair flipped side to side and her long ankle length skirt swished against her layered petticoats. The bottom twirled showing lace covered white pantaloons. She brought a ham and cheese for the depot lady and coffee for me. She sat down at my table and asked what I was doing in their little town in the middle of nowhere. I replied that I wasn’t sure but I was trying to be a writer and I thought I was researching a story. She smiled and said. “I love your confidence,” and then paused for a moment and added, “Where are you staying?” I answered, “I’m not. Is there a motel or boarding house in this little town in the middle of nowhere?” “Nope,” she replied and got up to leave. All I could think of to say was, “wonderful, how about a car rental?” “Nope,” she replied and walked away to pour coffee for the counter guys.

She came back and said, “If you’re going to eat, you better order now, because I’m closing in 30 minutes.” Again, all I could think to say was, “wonderful.” I don’t serve that,” she smiled back at me. “You can have a hamburger or a hamburger.” “I’ll have a hamburger,” I replied. She went into the kitchen and I sat there sipping my coffee wondering where I was going to sleep. She came back from the kitchen with my hamburger and a piece of apple pie. “I forgot to tell you about the pie,” she said. “It’s on me.”

            ….the hat

“I bleed with my eyes
and see with my heart.”

“What we call a mind
is nothing but a heap or collection
of different perceptions,
united together
by certain relations
and supposed, though falsely,
to be endowed with
a perfect simplicity and identity.”
                                                         DAVID HUME

While I was eating an old 39 Ford Pickup pulled up in the front of the café. Even though the pickup was old, it was still in perfect shape. It was easy to tell that the person that owned it was very fond of it. He got out and came into the café. “Hi dad,” I heard the waitress say. “I’ll be done in a few.” He grunted and said, “son of a bitch its cold out there, you got any coffee left?” “Dad!” she whispered. “Watch your language.” Then I heard her say. “Do you want to rent the extra room for a few days?” “Maybe”, he replied, “Who to?” She nodded and pointed and pointed towards me.

He brought his coffee and came over to my table. He just stood there for a few minutes looking down at me. Then he sat down and said, “OK, just who in the hell are you?” I started to answer but he went on, “And just what the hell do you want from my daughter?” “Whoa,” I blurted. “I am just a guy trying to research a story I want to write. Renting a room from you was your daughter’s idea, not mine and just so you understand, I do not want anything from your daughter.”

“Alright,” he replied pointing a finger at me. “Just so you understand, I’ll rent you the room but you damn well better understand that my daughter is off limits.” “Fine,” I replied. “I’ll take the damn room and you won’t have to worry about your daughter.

I finished the apple pie and we drank our coffee in silence. I couldn’t help but think about the farmer’s daughter jokes we used to tell as kids. I wanted to smile but was afraid to. I needed a room and a farm on the prairie may just the perfect place for me. The three men at the counter all left at the same time. No one spoke. They all just nodded at each other as if they communicated with mental telepathy.

I was curious about the state trooper and asked the farmer where his patrol car was. “He’s not a state trooper,” the farmer replied. “He’s the county deputy and since our county treasury is broke, he drives his own truck and gets paid mileage for its use.” I was curious about the hat. “Oh, that?” he replied. “He bought it at a rummage sale over in Aurora. He thinks it makes him a real cop.” “Does it?” I said. “No,” was the answer, “but it makes him happy and the people over at the Highway Patrol office think it’s funny so they let him keep it.” “Is it a real trooper’s hat? I asked. “Oh, yes it’s real alright. It belonged to a state trooper that was killed out on rural route 3 about 30 years ago. That was a real strange killing. They never caught the killer, either.” I wondered what made the killing strange and was it related to my dreams.

…the headless trooper

“Putting your mind on a shelf
is a dangerous thing to do.
All that it was
may be gone
when you try to open it again”.

“There is an elasticity in the human mind,
capable of bearing much,
but which will not show itself,
until a certain weight of affliction
be put upon it;
its powers may be compared
to those vehicles
whose springs are so contrived
that they get on smoothly enough when loaded,
but jolt confoundedly
when they have nothing to bear.”
                                   CHARLES CALEB COLTON

He thought for a few moments as if he was deciding whether to tell me the story or not or maybe he was trying to get what facts he knew straight. “It was the night of the green lights,” he started. I interrupted, actually blurted out, “The green lights?” He paused, waiting to see if I was going to continue interrupting him. He bowed his head and thought for a few more minutes and when he looked up there were tears in eyes. “I’m sorry,” he said. “Dave and I were good friends.” He dabbed his eyes with a napkin off the table. It was strange to see a gnarly old farmer with tears in his eyes. I knew the story meant a lot to him.

“It was the night of the green lights. They covered the whole western sky and seem to dance across the prairie. They started just after sunset. They were very light at first but as the eastern sky grew darker the western sky danced in green. They told us it was some kind of Aurora Borealis but I don’t believe it. Anyway the sky was really green and people called each other on the phone all night long to talk about it. Everyone had an idea. Everyone talked about the old Indian tales of the past. The next day, Dave’s wife called the Highway Patrol office and said he hadn’t come home from his night shift. They checked the records and said he had called in at midnight to log out and said he was headed for home. They searched all that day for him but he was nowhere to be found. That night somewhere around eleven P.M., two high school kids drove out to route 3 to park by the river and neck. They spotted Dave’s cruiser parked next to the river behind some tamaracks. When they looked in he was slumped over his steering wheel, dead.”

“How was he killed,” I asked? “His head was ripped off,” he replied. “They never found his head or his hat.”

....a room with a view

“When the mind loses it sense of justice
It also loses its sense of reality”

The Brain
- is wider than the Sky -
- put them side by side -
The one the other will contain
With ease
- and You
- beside....
The Brain is just the weight of God -
- Heft them
- Pound for Pound
-And they will differ
- if they do -
As Syllable from Sound.
                                  Emily Dickinson

His daughter came out the kitchen and said, “OK, I’m ready.” We left the café. I threw my bag in the back of the pickup. The waitress drove, her dad sat by the opposite door and I was in the middle. “Well,” the girl said, “My name’s Gloria and since I know my dad didn’t bother to introduce his self, his name is Tom.” “I am sure you have a name. Would you mind sharing it?” I smiled at the trust these people had in strangers. They didn’t even ask my name and offered to rent me a room. We never even discussed a price but I would bet my last dollar it would be fair. I wondered if I should lie but then I wondered why I would want to lie. “My name’s George,” I replied, “George Batty.” Gloria talked about the weather, the fields, the roads, and the local people all the way to their farm house which was about 5 miles outside of their little town in the middle of nowhere. The house was about a half a mile off the main road tucked in among a stand of trees. I couldn’t tell you what kind of trees they were. To me they were just trees. Tom didn’t say a word.

I wondered about Dave the “headless trooper”. I needed to know more. That was one shitty way to die.

The house had a real high pitched roof to fight off the winter snow. There were three bedrooms, a comfortable living room and a kitchen that was so clean I was sure I could eat off the floor. “It’s not much,” Tom said “but it’s comfortable and it’s warm and it’s clean” “You can throw your bag in that room to the right. It gets a little cold at night but there are some extra quilts in the closet. If you get to cold just pile a couple of them on top of you and you’ll warm right up.

Gloria went into the kitchen to make coffee and dinner. While the dinner was being cooked Tom and I talked about his farm and what he grew to try and make a living. I wanted to talk more about the trooper but decide to wait until he finished eating. I refused the offer for dinner as I had just eaten the burger and pie. I did accept a cup of coffee and took it to my room. I unpacked what little I did bring. I had two changes of clothes and underwear, several writing pads and some pens and pencils, a book about the Nebraska prairie and my dream catcher. My room was small but comfortable. There wasn’t a chair but it did have a small night table with a small lamp. It was cold because the door had been shut and the heat from the rest of the house wasn’t able to warm it up. I put my coffee on the small table and sat on the edge of the bed holding the dream catcher. I was thinking about my dreams and wondering if there was any connection to the dead trooper? Were the green lights just a coincidence or did they have some meaning that I couldn’t figure out? Was I being stupid for coming here? The dream catcher seemed to be warming my hands or was that my imagination.

I walked to the window and looked out across the prairie. The brown grass above the snow painted my eyes and the hoodoos of the canyon painted my mind. Thoughts of my wife warmed my blood and eased my mind.

…Tom’s heart

"A mind not oiled
will squeak
like a rusty spring
what ever it produces
will grate on your nerves."

"No mind, however loving,
could bear to see plainly
into all the recesses of
another mind."
                            Arnold Bennett
There was a knock on my door. Even though I hadn’t closed it, Gloria respected my privacy. “Come in,” I said. “Dad would like you to join him in the kitchen,” she said. “This is if you’re not too tired.” “I’m fine,” I replied. “I would enjoy that. I’ll be right there.” I laid the dream catcher on the bed and picked up my cup and followed her into the kitchen. I went to the stove and added more coffee to my cup and then sat down at the table with Tom.

“First thing we need to do is agree on the price of the room and of course the food will go along with it.” “I figure $10.00 per week is fair.” “Are you in agreement?” “Ten dollars if more than fair,” I replied. “Good,” he answered. “I require payment for each week in advance.” “How long do you plan on staying?”

I took a twenty from my wallet and handed it to him. “I’m not sure how long I’ll stay,” I replied. “I’m not even sure why I’m here.” “Why did you come?” he asked. “A dream,” I replied. “I had several dreams of a green prairie and some kind of strange spirit. The dream haunted me so much that I started looking into green prairies and Nebraska has had several reports of a green type of Aurora Borealis. So here I am and I don’t even know why it is important to me.”

Tom was silent for several minutes and then he said one word, “Hahamakah.” “What’s ‘Hahamakah’?” I responded. “Not what? But who?” he whispered. I sensed he was going through a personal struggle about sharing his thoughts. I sipped my coffee and waited for him to continue. He didn’t. He left the kitchen. Gloria finished the supper dishes and got a cup of coffee and sat down with me. “You have opened some very deep wounds in my dad’s heart,” She said. “He buried those wounds twenty years ago with his friend Dave. I know he thinks about him every day.” I wondered how she knew his thoughts and who was the mysterious “Hahamakah”?

I tried to get her to tell me what she knew but she insisted the story belonged to her dad. She had never discussed it with him. When she was young she had heard lots of stories and a lot of speculation and had been curious enough to ask her dad but he had refused to talk about it. Her mother had asked her not to bring the subject up again and she hadn’t. She had continued to follow her mother’s wishes even after her mother had died. Gloria left saying she was going to read a while.

I retrieved a notebook from my room and began to write some notes and see if I could figure out where I was and where I was going. I poured another coffee and put some notes on the paper. I knew I had to get Tom to tell his story and I figured it wouldn’t hurt to stick around and talk to anyone that was willing to talk to me. I could hitch a ride into town and use the café as a working point. The power of the prairie was talking to me.

I made a few notes and listed the questions I thought I needed to know. I wanted to talk to the deputy and if I could, interview the couple that had found Dave’s body.

I wondered why I felt I could be on a first name basis with the headless trooper.

…parents come.....and go

“When the mind is searching
for words
it needs to walk through
the heart.”

“Only in quiet waters
things mirror themselves undistorted.
Only in a quiet mind
is adequate perception of the world.”
                               HANS MARGOLIUS

When I was ready to turn in Tom came back and sat down. He apologized for leaving earlier. He wanted to know if I was really a writer. I explained that I was a “wanna be” writer looking for a story and that my weird dreams had brought me to Nebraska. He was silent for a moment and then said, “Maybe you were called by the spirit that killed Paul.”

“Do you really believe he was killed by a spirit,” I replied? He bowed his head and said, “Yes, that is what I believe but no one else does. I said that when he they first found him and every one said I was crazy so I quit talking about it.”

I thought about the green light that kept winding its way through my mind. Was it a spirit? No, there are no spirits. Tom might believe in evil spirits but I didn’t. But why wouldn’t my mind let go of it? If I didn’t believe in spirits, why was I here?

Tom got a cup of coffee and started his story. “Paul was my best friend. His parents worked for my parents on this farm so we grew up together. They were part Indian. I never knew how much Indian blood they had but for some reason they were never accepted in the Indian communities and they were never accepted in the white community. They were a couple without a country, without a community and without a family, so my parents became their whole world. They lived in a small house out back. Naturally Paul and I became very close. I believe we were even closer than regular brothers.

Instead of rejecting the Indian world that had rejected his parents, he embraced his Indian heritage. He was proud of it and wanted to know about his family history but his parents refused to discuss their roots. No one ever knew where they came from and no one really cared except maybe my parents and they would not ask. My parents lived by a strict code. If someone wanted them to know something about their personal lives they would tell them. Paul’s parents never offered any information about their past and my parents never asked.

They called themselves Mary and Joseph and said they were Christian. If they had Indian names, they never told anyone what they were. They never told anyone what their last name was. They were just Mary, Joseph and Paul. They arrived at my parent’s farm when Paul was four. All they had with them was some clothing and a bible. They walked up to our front and asked for work. My parents felt sorry for them and took them in. They worked for my parents until they died when the small house burned down. It was considered an accidental fire but my dad never believed that it was an accident. He was sure someone set the fire.

“Where was Paul”, I asked? “He was sleeping with me in my room,” Tom replied.

……a midsummer nightmare

“It is difficult to restore
a neglected mind
it wants to wander back
to a place of sloth”

“Death is a release
from the impressions of the senses,
and from desires
that make us their puppets,
and from the vagaries of the mind,
and from the hard service of the flesh.”
                                    Marcus Aurelius

Paul and I were eight years old when they came to our farm. It wasn’t long before we were very close. He became my “brother” and eventually he just started sleeping in my room.

Paul’s parents were very religious but they would not attend a formal church. They had their own personal services every Sunday morning. Paul’s father would read from the bible and then his mother and father would spend Sundays in silent prayer and meditation. After the bible reading and an hour of silent prayer Paul was allowed to come and play with me. It was only natural that we played “cowboys and Indians”. I must have been scalped a thousand times. A smile played across his face as he brought back the memories of his childhood. Those were the good times. Everyone was happy. My parents and Paul’s parents were friends as well as employers and employees. My parents tried to get them to go to church with them but they refused. They never gave an explanation. They were happy keeping their Christianity to themselves.

Tom paused for a few minutes. He closed his eyes and sipped his coffee. I wanted to know more about the fire so I asked him why he thought the fire wasn’t an accident.

His eyes remained closed and he seemed to be in deep thought and then started the story of that fateful evening. His head was bowed and deep furrows came across his brow as if he was reliving the painful night in his mind.

He began in a low soft voice that I had trouble hearing. It was almost a whisper. Outside the wind was still whistling through the trees and the branches were still brushing the house.

“It was mid-summer but the night was something like it is tonight. The wind was blowing through the trees but we were used to the sounds and they didn’t bother us. But that night they were different…really weird…really eerie. They woke my parents and they got up and walked out on the porch. There were low black clouds and it was beginning to rain. They decided it was just a summer storm and turned to enter the house but lightning and thunder shook the house.

When they turned the sky was alive with green flashes of lightning. Paul and I woke up and went out on the porch with them. The rain turned into a cloudburst so we returned to the house. The storm was over in just a few minutes and we went back to bed.”

           ...who would kill them?

“a mind that is left on hold
cannot fathom how deep
a heart can grieve”

“Into perfect stillness.
Sun and moon shine bright in it.
At night I see in the surface
the enormous face of my old familiar moon.
I don't think you've ever met the source of this reflection.
All shrillness fades into the sound of silence.
But now and then a puff of mist floats across the mirror.
It confuses me a little
But not enough to make me forget to forget my cares”
                                                                         Hsu Yun

He sipped some more coffee and then returned to the story

Before we could get back to sleep another storm cell came through only this time it was ever louder. When it’s storming like that you can count the seconds from the time you see the lightning until you hear the thunder and know how close the lightning is. Each second you count is one mile of distance between you and the lightning.

In that second storm it was right on top of us. Lightning was flashing all around the house and the thunder was instant. The sky all around us alive with dancing lightning.. The lightning crackled and sizzled and the thundered shook the house. Paul and I were scared and went in to be with my parents but they weren’t in their bedroom. My mom was standing in the kitchen door looking at Paul’s parent’s cabin which was engulfed in fire. My dad was screaming and trying to get the cabin door open. He kicked it in and a ball of fire blew out of the house knocking him down burning his face and hands.

Paul ran to my mom and she held him as he watched the scene before him. I could see the fear in his and eyes as the flames danced across his face. His eyes began to tear as realized what was happening. The fire was too intense and too hot for anyone to do anything for Paul’s parents.

They were both burned to death. Paul never shed anymore tears than those that dropped while he watched the fire. He never discussed that evening with me until he was leaving for college several year later.

When the local sheriff at the time came out to investigate the fire and the death of Paul’s parents he looked at the outside of what was left of the cabin and said, “Damn tragic accident, a real shame.”

My dad said, “It was no accident.” “Come on” the sheriff said. “They were just a couple of Indians. It’s no big deal. Accidents happen all the time. Besides, who would want to kill them? They spent all their time right here on your farm. How could they have made any enemies? It was a wicked lightning storm and that old wooden cabin of yours wasn’t the safest place to be in a storm like that.”

“Maybe”, my dad said. “But Joe wasn’t stupid and there was no way they were asleep during that storm.” “No, someone killed them.” “Now who in the hell would that have been,” the sheriff asked? My dad just kicked at the ashes of the house and didn’t say another word.

The sheriff said that unless my dad could give him some names or some evidence that he was calling it an accident. He never had a coroner look at their bodies and we didn’t have a fire department that could check the house for anything that looked suspicious so Paul’s parent’s deaths were listed as accidental. My dad said that they were killed by someone but he didn’t know who or why. He adopted Paul as a son.

…the deputy returns

“Some minds work better
when they are free to roam
mine wasn’t one of those”

“When we talk about understanding,
surely it takes place only
when the mind listens completely
- the mind being your heart, your nerves, your ears
- when you give your whole attention to it.”
                                                             Jiddu Krishnamurti

Tom was tired and wanted to go to bed but he had one last statement. He stood up, drained the last drop from his cup and said. “You want to be a writer and I still want to know what really happened to Paul and his parents. If you write this story I’ll help you all I can. Maybe with the passage of time and some fresh eyes, we can figure out who killed them.”

Tom left. I sat at the table making a few notes and wondered how in the hell I would be of any help in solving the death of two Indians that happened over 20 years and ago and the death of their son that happen 10 years ago. Tom hadn’t discussed the death of Paul but I felt that he had a lot to say about it. He knew a lot more that he had told me tonight.

I went to bed and listened to the strange noises of the creaking house and blowing wind. I think I fell asleep around four. Tom was banging on my door at five.

He didn’t bother to wait until I told him to come in. He walked in and said, “Get your butt out of bed Hemingway. It’s time to start writing.”

Gloria was making more coffee. The truck was already running warming up the cab so we would not freeze our rear ends off driving into the café. We all took a cup of coffee and started for town. I grumbled something about getting out of bed so early was stupid. Tom just sipped his coffee. Gloria smiled and said, “This is farm country. If you want to write a story about the people and the happenings on the prairie you will learn very quickly that you will need get up early and stay up late. My dad wants your help. Please don’t disappoint him”

When we arrived at the café it was already open and warm. The deputy was sitting at the bar drinking coffee. I didn’t have to ask. Gloria could see the questions on my face. “He gets free breakfast and lunch for opening up and getting the place warm, the grill hot and the coffee ready. When I get here everything s ready to go and I don’t have to freeze to death getting this place is ready to open. She went into the kitchen. The deputy watched her every move. It was very obvious he wanted more than breakfast and lunch.

Paul and I sat at the table in the rear of the care and Gloria made us a plate of ham and eggs. Paul was silent for a few minutes and then he said, “You know, I read a lot of Hemingway. You need to apply some of his wisdom.” I said. “Oh, and what would that be?” “Well,” he replied. “Hemingway says ‘It’s none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.’ It’s my advice to you that do not tell these people why you’re here.”

“OK,” I answered. “Just what do you think I should tell them?” “That’s your problem. You’re the writer,” he smiled. “Use your imagination.”

…a different me

“Having a mindless mind has
one huge advantage.
It becomes
second nature to lie”

“Get the habit of analysis -
analysis will in time enable
synthesis to become your habit of mind.”
                                          Frank Lloyd Wright

Tom got up and I ask him where he was going? He told me that he was headed into the “big city” of Gordon to get supplies for the farm and the café. I wanted to go along but he thought I needed to stay and meet some of the prairie people. “They are real curious about you”, he said. “They want to know who you are and why you’re here.” “Dam,” I muttered. “I haven’t been here 24 hours. Hardly anyone has seen me. There can’t be that many people that curious.” As he walked away he was smiling and said, “Have you ever heard of or seen a prairie fire? Gossip moves faster than that.”

When he stopped to pay for his breakfast I heard the deputy say, “Tom, who is that fella you’re talking to? Gloria won’t tell me a thing.” Tom’s voice was somewhat loud when he replied, “How long have you know me? If I want you to know something, I’ll tell you. If I don’t I won’t.” He walked out the door with a little strut in his step. The deputy smiled and said to Gloria, “That old man of yours is an ornery old coot.” “Yes he is,” Gloria smiled back at him.

I had Gloria fill my coffee cup and started making some more notes. My first note said, “Who am I?” I thought a minute and then penned…”Newspaper reporter”. That’s good I thought. But what kind of reporter? I drummed the table with my pen.

I sensed someone standing over me and I looked up. The deputy was standing there. Was he trying to read my notes? I wasn’t sure.

“Excuse me”, he said. “May I sit down?” I just nodded and point at the set across from me. He slid his chubby body across the red vinyl bench and smiled. He slid the state trooper hat towards the salt and pepper shakers. He had his café coffee mug in his hand and sat it down in front of him. I had to move my note book to make room for his cup. “Sorry,” I said. “Someday I’m going to get a tape recorder for my notes and thoughts.”

He fidgeted with his cup. I could see that he was nervous. I knew he wanted to talk to me but for some reason was afraid to begin a conversation. He had a little moisture on his forehead that I assumed was a nervous sweat. He rubbed his right forefinger under his broad nose as if he had an itch. His action focused my attention on three long hairs growing from the tip of his nose and on the indents on the side of his nose caused from wearing glasses. I guessed he was a little vain and didn’t want people to know he wore them. His hand went from his nose to brush what hair he had left towards the back of his head. His hair was black and fairly thick on the side. The bald part of head was also perspiring. He took a napkin that was lying on the table and wiped his face and head.

We were sitting close the stove but for me it was still cold. He said in a strangely melodic voice, “I guess I put too much coal in the stove. It’s too damn hot in here.” His voice startled me but not in a strange way. I don’t know what I expected. I guess other men I have met of his body build and age have had sort of high pitched voices as if their vocal chords were stretched just a little. His voice was lower, almost bass like and when he talked it has a rhythm to it. I immediately smiled to myself thinking he must have stolen that voice because it surely couldn’t belong to him. Then my mind began chastising me. There you go again making people judgments. You better keep your mouth shut and listen.

But I couldn’t keep my mouth shut so I broke the silence and said, “I know you’re the county deputy. My name is GS Batty, what can I do for you?” He relaxed a little and said, “What’s the GS stand for?” There is a story about the GS and it does stand for something but I figured that was none of his business. “It stands for what my parents named me,” I replied. “It stands for exactly what it is, GS.”

He sipped some coffee and looked out the window as an old pickup truck that pulled in. “OK, GS”, he answered back. “What brings you to the prairie?” I didn’t respond so he repeated himself. “What brings you to the prairie?” And then he added, “What brings you here, especially at this time of year?” The café door opened and the two men that I saw sitting at the counter the day before walked in giving me time to respond. They stamped their feet on the rug, removing the prairie dew from their boots and the shorter one said, “Dam glad you have that stove aburnin, it’s colder that a well digger’s butt out there.” The taller one said, “Get that coffee pot over here.” Gloria smiled and said, “Mornin Jim, mornin Bob. Are you having breakfast?” They walked to the far end of the counter. I could still here their voices but the words were too soft and too far away to understand.

I answered the deputy’s question. “I’m a reporter from Los Angeles.” His brow wrinkled and his lips puckered into a whistling position as if he was thinking or trying to remember something. His eyes closed into a squinting position for a moment and then his face relaxed. He started to speak but his voice would only stutter. “Wha…wha…wha…” He closed his mouth and quit trying to talk. He took a deep breath and then finally said in his original melodic bass voice, “I’m sorry, when I get confused or excited I sometimes stutter. I have to stop and get my voice under control.” Then he continued with the question he was trying to ask, “What would a Los Angeles reporter find interesting in this God forsaken place?”

I couldn’t think of an answer. I stalled the answer to his question by telling him I had to go to the john. I wasn’t lying. I had really had too much coffee.

July 5....
writer's note......If you are following this story I must apologize because I have decided to stop here and change the direction.  I am going to do a major rewrite and edit job with a name change for the story.  If there is any interest in the rewrite and in the new story please leave a comment on the blog and I will email you the story as it is written.
You can also read the log part of this and see why and where I want the story to go.  I feel the story is alive and talking to me and giving me a knew and better story to write.]gsbatty

About Me

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So Cal, United States
I am an apprentice writer of short stories and I also attempt a little poetry.