Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Some Days

Some days are better than others...and others...

Some Days

Some days he can talk. This is not one of those days. He holds a chop stick, broken in half and taped together for thickness, and he holds it like a wand; a baton. Slowly, but sometimes in a quick jerk, he moves the wand over a board printed with letters and a few words. He spells what he means to say.


“You’re tired?”

The wand moves slightly left. “Yes?” I ask. The wand relaxes.

I recall a line from, “Racetrack Lore,” a short story of his I’d read years ago in Esquire or Harpers, long before it became a best selling novel, long before the movie. He had written, “Gratten sat, his spirit deflating; the pressure in his soul leaking out, almost audibly. To echo the sound of his soul, Gratten sighed.” Now he manages, “I tired.”

I chat a plain chat with him. Things that require no response. I pack my interview notes and my unused tape recorder. He watches; his eye muscles are still working. I stop chatting. I am wondering what scene he’s writing in his head. What kind of drilling insight would he jam into a dozen words to describe my leaving? I think, “What would he say?” And then the thought follows, “…if he were alive.”

Sunday, October 29, 2006

'tis the season...


His hands were cold; colder than the night breeze; colder, even than his eyes. But that was the normal condition for one of his race: cold.

His only heat was in his temperament and eagerness to be about his task. He wished that, like the legends, he could simply transform himself and with a flap of velvet leather wings be out, upon the night sky, unseen by those he sought. But those were legends. Reality had him trudging through the mist-thick streets, his eyes alert for movement, his senses taught.

He looked for one as alone as he: one in no company, and with no direction. One who had the inner warmth he lacked-the heat he craved. He saw a woman. She was huddled on the alley stoop of a café, wrapped in rubber slicker, hoarding to herself her own fading warmth. He approached making small intentional noises- a shoe scuff; a nose sniff. She would hear him coming and not be startled away. She looked up as he neared. They saw each other in the half reflected moonlight and each drew a sigh. Neither saw the warmth they needed.

"It's a cold night," he said.

She nodded, not wishing to spend her strength in speech.

"It seems times have been hard for you, too," he offered.

"They have." Her voice was small and far away.

"They are for all of us."

She nodded again.

"Move if you can. They won't come to you. Those times are gone. Sad times now...we've got them out numbered, and our success will be our undoing. Move if you can. You'll find one."

He started to walk off.

She called after him, "If only we could fly."

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Saturday, October 14, 2006

DEE-troit Sports

I was born the year the Detroit Tigers beat the Cubbies in the World Series. Nineteen forty-five. And I grew up in the era when the Motor City was rightfully known as “The City of Champions.” The Red Wings and the Lions were perennial champs (the Pistons didn’t move to Detroit from Fort Wayne until about ’57.)

Then came a long stretch during which the Red Wings were known as the Dead Things, the Pistons were called the Pissed On, the Tigers were reduced to pussy cats and the Lions rarely raised above the level of “opponent”. Sad times.
Sixty-eight brought a World Series and so did eighty-four. The Wings got better. The Pistons were winners. And now we Detroiters have what will doubtless be our greatest sports year ever.

Our basketball and hockey teams gained the best records in their leagues. The WNBA team won their championship. The Tigers are going to the World Series. Even the Lions will have their chance at perfection. If they keep going at their current pace they will finish the season with a perfectly imperfect 0-16 record. Perfectly imperfect in the City of Champions. When you’re the Detroit Lions you take your records any way you can get them.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Friday, October 06, 2006


What is this? A super-short story? Flash fiction? A fable? You tell me...


When God was very young, his father told him stories. In time, although time hadn’t been invented yet, God had heard and learned every story his father told, which was every story there was to tell. In many ways of understanding the stories were basically mathematical; equations, algorithms, progressions and fractals. All were perfect and all were predictable.
When God was grown and on his own he remembered the stories and wanted to see them expressed and so He used everything he had learned, and this was Creation. Creation contained the essence of every story and each of them moved together perfectly.
God aged and loved the stories he saw before him, but in time, as now time had been created, he wanted more. He wanted new stories, but there could be none because all of perfection already existed. And so he made life and he made men and he made men to be different than anything that had ever been; he made them imperfect.
In their imperfection the living things were unpredictable, they were random and they were unique. Those things that were human tried to make sense of the senseless and find meaning where there was none and in doing so they gave back to God the one thing he needed: new stories.