Have you ever been walking down the street, minding your own business, in a hurry to get wherever you’re going, maybe to an appointment with your tax man, or maybe just to meet an old friend for coffee, when you happen to meet one of those people’s eyes? Homeless people, or as my old man’d called them–bums. And did you ever get the feeling that until you looked at them, met their eyes, they didn’t truly exist? As people, that is. Kind of like window dressing. Or a street light. There but not there.
Last night I looked. And now I can’t sleep, can’t eat, can’t do nothing but think about those eyes.
I’d come out of Delmonico’s feeling fine, belly full of prime rib, a good-looking woman on my arm, and the night still young. All through dinner Veronica’d been playing footsie under the table and batting those mile-long eyelashes at me. I’d known what dessert was going to be, and it was going to be good.
Damned ants! Now they’re in my mailbox of all places.
I’ve been fighting them little buggers for ten years now. Looks like they would have a little mercy, seeing as how I’d turned ninety a few months back—no spring chicken no more, not by a long shot.
I reckon I ought to feel lucky I’d come home from rehab none the worse for wear except for the pins holding my bones together and the cane I used to steady myself. That was what John Lee’d told me a’fore he up and died on me last month. But he weren’t the one that had tripped over the mound of hard dirt those dad-blasted ants had pushed up on the sidewalk, and got his hip busted. Continue reading
It was such a tiny thing, a speck of a thing, all alone in a soup of darkness. And it was hungry, so very hungry. All it had known in its short life had been this terrible, gnawing emptiness.
Emptiness inside. Emptiness outside.
All it knew was that it existed. Beyond that, nothing more.
It sensed something outside itself, and this something murmured: Open your mouth, little one.
And for the first time, it realized it had a mouth and what it was for. Continue reading
Ecclesiastes was born into a world out of balance. He felt it even as an infant, the power in both his mother and father, strong, stubborn souls who would not back down, who would not let the other assume dominion. Neither willing to subjugate.
So there were the inevitable fights. His parents screamed at each other, and Ecclesiastes screamed in his crib. Then one day his father went away and only he and his mother remained, and for the first time in his short life, Ecclesiastes felt calmness in his world. His mother was big and strong, he was small and weak. Balance.
As he grew older, he saw and understood the balance in nature: cold, icy days and hot, steamy days; Continue reading