CHILDHOOD AT THE SHORE
There’s a boy at the water’s edge,laughing and splashing, wet sand smeared on his face, chest, armshaving the time of his life, no doubt-is what we always used to say.I want to tell him to keep it up,don’t stop jumping into the waves,swim under the water, stay here,never leave and soak it all in.You’ll look back on this as a man,as a father and husband- you willneed this when you have a bad day,a particular challenge, or hardship. You’ll think about the smell of salt air, the breeze in your face, the coolness of the rising tide on your ankles and shins, your eyes darting across the ocean floor.as you point at minnows, sand crabs, shells.These memories will keep you afloatis what I want to shout, because I thinksomeone should explain this to all of you.But the children of the beach wouldn’t listen.So instead I just grin and nod. And the boy?He runs away. I turn to look to the horizon, the Atlantic, nothing has really changed it’s the same view from forty years ago, only the children at the shoreline are new.
Forgotten Muscle Car
thunders by on Route 18 South,neurons fire, my 50 year old brainsearches for the word on the car.Look close, a metallic logo confirms.Drive on, beside him, behind himremembering an old guy’s lament-back in the days before computers,street legal, slant sixes, big blocks,4 barrel carburetors, a story alwayslaced with numbers, V8, 383, 426,street legal, slant sixes, big blocks.Secret codes for those who lived it.Never saw these, even in the 70’s, Chargers, Firebirds, Mustangs, sure.Something ugly about this one, long in front, squared off grill like a mouth of the fish a Detroit guy named it after.This one’s dull gray with a white roof.I’d paint it purple, make the roof black. Must be headed down the shore with Historic QQ Jersey plates. Bet he playsthat old “Heart” song as kids walk alongthe rows of cars with parents and say-It’s kind of cool, what’s the name of that?
(AT AN EARLY AGE WHILE LIVING IN LOW INCOME HOUSING, 1974)Sometimes in life it’s a good idea to hide in the corner behind a red naugahyde chair.Sometimes in lifeyou have to pound on the steering wheel and shout, “you know I wanted ice cream”!Sometimes life tastes likeSwanson pot pies, Campbell’s soup, Quisp cereal, a packet of Wyler’s juiceSometimes life feels likethe shot gun blast that killed the old guy who was the apartment manager. Sometimes it’s likean across the hall neighbor out of her mind on acid running in with a butcher knife.Sometimes in lifeyou have to push the furniture in front of the door before going to bed.Sometimes life is about lawyers in the living room and toys you’re forbidden to play with.Sometimes it’s your cat having kittens in the closet, but you can’t keep one of them.Sometimes life burns like shampoo in the eyes or it cuts like a broken water glass.Sometimes it sounds likea Carpenters album, a Gilligan’s Island laugh track, the Banana Splits theme song.Sometimes in lifeyou want Mrs. Beasley with her polka dot dress, not the red heart shaped pillow.Sometimes life is likepulling GI Joe’s string and the only thing he ever says is, “I've got a tough assignment for you”.
- Aug 20, 2015 HOSPITAL CURTAINS
- Aug 20, 2015 PROPERTIES OF MATTER
- Aug 20, 2015 THANK YOU RED ANT
- Aug 20, 2015 FIRST FRIENDS
- Aug 20, 2015 SeaWorld, South River
- Aug 20, 2015 JUST PASSING THROUGH
- May 17, 2015 Forgotten Muscle Car
- Apr 06, 2015 The Wait
- Apr 03, 2015 SHE DIDN’T WRITE ABOUT
- Apr 02, 2015 Shake the Salt on When She’s Not Looking
- Aug 05, 2014 LESSONS LEARNED
- Aug 05, 2014 OLD GUY WITH THE NICE POOL
- Aug 05, 2014 JETTY GEORGE
- Jul 13, 2014 WE BOUGHT HOCKEY STICKS IN 1974
- May 30, 2014 FINDING MYSELF
- May 30, 2014 VIRAL
- May 30, 2014 BACK WITH THE SIXERS
- May 30, 2014 SUNDAY NIGHTS ON HBO
- May 30, 2014 LET ME THINK ABOUT IT
- May 30, 2014 BIG ORANGE
- May 30, 2014 WEATHER SMALL TALK
- May 30, 2014 MONSTER MOVIES ON TV, B.C.
- May 30, 2014 MINIMUM WAGE
- May 30, 2014 WE REMEMBER
- Apr 02, 2014 ON MONDAY NIGHTS IN MILLTOWN