In my last essay, I provided the backstory of how I ended up learning to skate, becoming a goalie, and loving being on the ice. This is about what happens when you play on goalie skates – which are flatter than player skates – and how you get out of practice for skating on player skates – which are more curved and rock more than goalie skates. It’s about how when you get back on player skates, “just to change things up a little”, things can go sideways in some pretty horrible ways…and I’ve got visuals.
The First Time
My nerves were singing and I was certain I hadn’t ever been this anxious…ever. Anxiety is a strange thing. Have a little bit of it and thinking can be tack-sharp, your reaction times crisp and fast. A person can feel high-toned and ready for anything. Ramps it up to the redline and one can feel like they’re losing their mind, skin is crawling, just wanting to run…somewhere…anywhere but here. In that moment, I was burying the needle.
A Father’s Legacy
I was rummaging through some of my old writing a while back and came upon one of my first published short stories. It’s trite, immature, cliché, and just about every other negative thing that makes a piece of writing more fluff than substance, but at the time (in college) I was proud of it.
Whatever it was, it was his day to snap, and several hundred rounds later, he was trying to escape in his pickup truck, a shotgun and an AR-style rifle on the bench seat next to him. Speeding down the residential street, Bad Guy thought he could get away. He was making a break for it and, so far, no resistance. He turned left and raced down Arizona Avenue but halfway down the block, a Bearcat armored vehicle came around the corner toward him. He panicked…
I haven’t held, nor pulled the trigger on, many firearms in my lifetime. It was never really an interest of mine but the list starts when I was around late elementary school age. I had taken a Hunter’s Safety course because my brother had and I wanted to be like him. He once took me to what we called “the rifle range” which was a long sub-level room at the middle school. One end, near the entrance, was storage cages, benches, and a padded platform about a foot high where shooters could fire small, .220 caliber rifles from the prone position.
I know I don’t remember this the way it happened.
Memory can be a funny thing. It surely plays tricks on us and the memories we think we have often don’t match the thing that happened to create them. But I do remember something, the story she told, and that moment she told it.
I think I do anyway.
On Aging and Time
How old you are is not how old you are. Such a cliché. But clichés are clichés because they’re right…right? Boy, you look 20 years younger. You don’t look a day over 35. Act your age. He’s got the energy of a 25-year-old. Age is a matter of the mind, if you don’t mind, it don’t matter. He’s older than his years. And on and on…
Driving Drunk with Both Hands on the Wheel
I wonder what the woman was thinking as she sat on her motorcycle at a stoplight in suburban Chicago a few weekends ago. She might have been thinking of her kids, where she was headed or maybe nothing at all. No one knows but I bet it wasn’t about the car coming up behind her, at speed, as it plowed in and took her life.
The woman who hit her was putting nail polish on.
Void the Warranty
I’m not a big fan of branding. I have a tendency to try to remove, cover or otherwise erase the brand names and logos that appear on the things I have, wear, or buy. I’m not a big fan of items that do just one thing either. What if that one thing is something you only do once in a while. That appliance or tool or whatever is just taking up space the rest of the time. Seems a waste to me. So, there are very few items in our kitchen that do just one thing (despite all those infomercials telling me I need this or that that does just this one thing, allegedly, the best and only way it can be done.) I remove the little plastic plate or sticker that has the car dealer’s name on it. I remove the license plate frame the dealer automatically puts on…
A Question of Faith
Steve is a boy of six. He is a nice boy by all accounts and isn’t one to get into trouble. I don’t know him. I just know someone who does. But who he is isn’t important. What happened is. It was after school on a typical Spring afternoon. Steve was finishing up his day and getting ready to go. Looking at the clock he realized it was later than he’d thought. He was going to miss his bus, so he darted out of the school toward the bus loop. Just as he arrived, he saw his bus pulling out of the parking lot. Worry stole over him because he knew his mother would be mad if he was late coming home. She might even be mad he’d missed the bus even if it was an honest mistake. His only alternative was to get home on foot and get there…
A Victim of the Murderous Mob
“Dear Father, I don’t know that the sun will ever rise and set for me again, but I trust in God and his mercy. At eight o’clock, I sit in court. The mob have me under guard. There is no cowardice in me, Father. I am worthy of you in this respect. I am, in this one respect, like Him who died for all: I die, if die I must, for law, order, and principle; and too, I stand alone.” My family and I, one Saturday when we were looking for something different to do, decided to head to the cemetery on Wolfensberger Road. It seemed a peculiar thing to me, the whole burial ritual being a bit of a mystery, but my boys had heard about people doing rubbings of epitaphs on markers and having just acquired sketch pads, they wanted to give it a try. So it was…
Way back in the 80s there was a cartoon named Bloom County. And one of the ideas they came up with was the Dandelion Break. It essentially consisted of Milo Bloom, Opus and any number of other characters heading out to the meadow to sit amongst the dandelions in order to recharge from a particularly bad day. We all need a break, here are 13 or so minutes of a Dandelion Break. A recorded Colorado thunderstorm fresh off the Rocky Mountains in June of 2007. With Music: right click to “save as…” Just nature: right click to “save as…” Load it on your mp3 player, sit back and just imagine being somewhere else. Photo by Viridi Green
I heard a busy signal the other day for the first time in, well, I’m not exactly sure, but it’s been a while. Until I heard it, I hadn’t realized that it was a dying thing. Something that now seems superfluous. It occurred the other day when calling a business. I don’t think this is a common thing. I think it is on its way out and is gasping for its last breath. I miss the busy signal. It is virtually disappearing. You can make a call now and have someone answer. Someone, something, voicemail, ACDs, VRUs, recordings, whatever. No more, or at least rarely, do you get the burnk, burnk, burnk letting you know it’s the end of the line. You’re not going anywhere until the line is free. Without the busy signal, no more do you feel the finality of being denied access. Voice mail, call waiting, call…