Monday, December 07, 2009
Suddenly that Tragedy is a woman whose name I know, whose Husband I know, whose two beautiful boys I've met - all of their names in my head. This Tragedy who helped to clean the place I call home before I moved down from Minnesota, who probably painted with her tiny hands the walls I hung my pictures on - this Tragedy sits not six feet from me and in two broken languages we discuss her double mastectomy and the five metasticized tumors in her face and neck. The five tumors that they've found for now.
This Tragedy has no family in Texas aside from the American she married and the two little American boys both in school - one Kindergarten the other First Grade not enough space for the Big Brother to be much bigger. As she smiles and says it's going well except for the three or four days after each chemotherapy and indicates with her tiny hands the locations of the tumors in her neck and faced, memorized and counted out like knowing the moons of Mars. I begin to see a face behind the tiny smile that faces me and suffers my Spanish as I try to anticipate her English as if I could draw it magically from her soul.
This face beneath is not smiling at the nice man who asked about her health and her children in school. It is looking into a sunny sky on this grey day and someone is holding this Tragedy and calling her by her given name - Maria Theresa. They are holding her and whispering to her to shed the silly wig it's too hot outside. Besso, she is kissed and held. The sun is warm on this face and I see in it a longing I seem to understand.
This Tragedy, Maria Theresa, concludes her business with us and walks away, folding the check she'd been written with her tiny hands and taking the warm sun on her face into the grey and rainy day.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
TRUE! --nervous --very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses --not destroyed --not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily --how calmly I can tell you the whole story.
It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture --a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees --very gradually --I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.
Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded --with what caution --with what foresight --with what dissimulation I went to work! I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him. And every night, about midnight, I turned the latch of his door and opened it --oh so gently! And then, when I had made an opening sufficient for my head, I put in a dark lantern, all closed, closed, that no light shone out, and then I thrust in my head. Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust it in! I moved it slowly --very, very slowly, so that I might not disturb the old man's sleep. It took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening so far that I could see him as he lay upon his bed. Ha! would a madman have been so wise as this, And then, when my head was well in the room, I undid the lantern cautiously-oh, so cautiously --cautiously (for the hinges creaked) --I undid it just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye. And this I did for seven long nights --every night just at midnight --but I found the eye always closed; and so it was impossible to do the work; for it was not the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye. And every morning, when the day broke, I went boldly into the chamber, and spoke courageously to him, calling him by name in a hearty tone, and inquiring how he has passed the night. So you see he would have been a very profound old man, indeed, to suspect that every night, just at twelve, I looked in upon him while he slept.
Upon the eighth night I was more than usually cautious in opening the door. A watch's minute hand moves more quickly than did mine. Never before that night had I felt the extent of my own powers --of my sagacity. I could scarcely contain my feelings of triumph. To think that there I was, opening the door, little by little, and he not even to dream of my secret deeds or thoughts. I fairly chuckled at the idea; and perhaps he heard me; for he moved on the bed suddenly, as if startled. Now you may think that I drew back --but no. His room was as black as pitch with the thick darkness, (for the shutters were close fastened, through fear of robbers,) and so I knew that he could not see the opening of the door, and I kept pushing it on steadily, steadily.
I had my head in, and was about to open the lantern, when my thumb slipped upon the tin fastening, and the old man sprang up in bed, crying out --"Who's there?"
I kept quite still and said nothing. For a whole hour I did not move a muscle, and in the meantime I did not hear him lie down. He was still sitting up in the bed listening; --just as I have done, night after night, hearkening to the death watches in the wall.
Presently I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or of grief --oh, no! --it was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe. I knew the sound well. Many a night, just at midnight, when all the world slept, it has welled up from my own bosom, deepening, with its dreadful echo, the terrors that distracted me. I say I knew it well. I knew what the old man felt, and pitied him, although I chuckled at heart. I knew that he had been lying awake ever since the first slight noise, when he had turned in the bed. His fears had been ever since growing upon him. He had been trying to fancy them causeless, but could not. He had been saying to himself --"It is nothing but the wind in the chimney --it is only a mouse crossing the floor," or "It is merely a cricket which has made a single chirp." Yes, he had been trying to comfort himself with these suppositions: but he had found all in vain. All in vain; because Death, in approaching him had stalked with his black shadow before him, and enveloped the victim. And it was the mournful influence of the unperceived shadow that caused him to feel --although he neither saw nor heard --to feel the presence of my head within the room.
When I had waited a long time, very patiently, without hearing him lie down, I resolved to open a little --a very, very little crevice in the lantern. So I opened it --you cannot imagine how stealthily, stealthily --until, at length a simple dim ray, like the thread of the spider, shot from out the crevice and fell full upon the vulture eye.
It was open --wide, wide open --and I grew furious as I gazed upon it. I saw it with perfect distinctness --all a dull blue, with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones; but I could see nothing else of the old man's face or person: for I had directed the ray as if by instinct, precisely upon the damned spot.
And have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the sense? --now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well, too. It was the beating of the old man's heart. It increased my fury, as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage.
But even yet I refrained and kept still. I scarcely breathed. I held the lantern motionless. I tried how steadily I could maintain the ray upon the eve. Meantime the hellish tattoo of the heart increased. It grew quicker and quicker, and louder and louder every instant. The old man's terror must have been extreme! It grew louder, I say, louder every moment! --do you mark me well I have told you that I am nervous: so I am. And now at the dead hour of the night, amid the dreadful silence of that old house, so strange a noise as this excited me to uncontrollable terror. Yet, for some minutes longer I refrained and stood still. But the beating grew louder, louder! I thought the heart must burst. And now a new anxiety seized me --the sound would be heard by a neighbour! The old man's hour had come! With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room. He shrieked once --once only. In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed over him. I then smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done. But, for many minutes, the heart beat on with a muffled sound. This, however, did not vex me; it would not be heard through the wall. At length it ceased. The old man was dead. I removed the bed and examined the corpse. Yes, he was stone, stone dead. I placed my hand upon the heart and held it there many minutes. There was no pulsation. He was stone dead. His eve would trouble me no more.
If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. First of all I dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs.
I then took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings. I then replaced the boards so cleverly, so cunningly, that no human eye --not even his --could have detected any thing wrong. There was nothing to wash out --no stain of any kind --no blood-spot whatever. I had been too wary for that. A tub had caught all --ha! ha!
When I had made an end of these labors, it was four o'clock --still dark as midnight. As the bell sounded the hour, there came a knocking at the street door. I went down to open it with a light heart, --for what had I now to fear? There entered three men, who introduced themselves, with perfect suavity, as officers of the police. A shriek had been heard by a neighbour during the night; suspicion of foul play had been aroused; information had been lodged at the police office, and they (the officers) had been deputed to search the premises.
I smiled, --for what had I to fear? I bade the gentlemen welcome. The shriek, I said, was my own in a dream. The old man, I mentioned, was absent in the country. I took my visitors all over the house. I bade them search --search well. I led them, at length, to his chamber. I showed them his treasures, secure, undisturbed. In the enthusiasm of my confidence, I brought chairs into the room, and desired them here to rest from their fatigues, while I myself, in the wild audacity of my perfect triumph, placed my own seat upon the very spot beneath which reposed the corpse of the victim.
The officers were satisfied. My manner had convinced them. I was singularly at ease. They sat, and while I answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things. But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears: but still they sat and still chatted. The ringing became more distinct: --It continued and became more distinct: I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definiteness --until, at length, I found that the noise was not within my ears.
No doubt I now grew very pale; --but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice. Yet the sound increased --and what could I do? It was a low, dull, quick sound --much such a sound as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I gasped for breath --and yet the officers heard it not. I talked more quickly --more vehemently; but the noise steadily increased. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased. Why would they not be gone? I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the men --but the noise steadily increased. Oh God! what could I do? I foamed --I raved --I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder --louder --louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly, and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! --no, no! They heard! --they suspected! --they knew! --they were making a mockery of my horror!-this I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! and now --again! --hark! louder! louder! louder! louder!
"Villains!" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed! --tear up the planks! here, here! --It is the beating of his hideous heart!"
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Between you me and the cat, he isn't a "Traditional American" if you get my drift. He and I sprang from different Creation Mythologies. I doubt he'd know Jesus if they was in line at the Walmart's Self Check-out.
I will keep my eye on him. I understand our Government still pays for us to turn in Un-American Activities that we observe. Even under the Hussein Obama Administration... stay tuned.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Monday, July 06, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
If you are currently in Antarctica, or know someone who is, please leave a Comment or direct your Antarctic friend to my blog. In 3 years I've "pinged" on every continent but the one at the bottom of the world.
Friday, June 05, 2009
Darkness grinned long and toothy, His tongue flicked across the smooth line of His teeth stopping when it snagged on His sharpened canines. Taste of iron, fleeting. The tiny stream of Life closed upon itself.
Darkness felt the aching echo of Pleasure in His thighs. Had He held them tensed all this Time? Since He joined with the Light and all This was made? Now He relaxed, the Pleasure seemed to bounce lightly before it faded away.
Darkness touched me at the halfway of my Forever. Stopped my Heart and Breathing as I slept. Dreamless, my Death dangled above me. Thoughtless, I lay as inactive as the Table beneath me. Voiceless, I could have passed without a Sound.
Darkness giggled as He loosed His grip from my Heart - my deepest Insides. Catching my own Breath, I shuddered as He laughed.
Darkness' Eyes met mine - Forever now Half-Over - flashed a Smile all Teeth and Open Mouth. "Double Dare Ya!" Darkness rasped as His Laughter broke to Coughing, He Laughed 'til Snorting, Slapped His Thighs and Spat - now finished.
Darkness left a Shadow on me - blackened Stain of Smoke and Ash. Scar that Split me, slowly Healing - hurts to Laugh now, aches to Breathe.
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
The story I wish I could tell you would be filled with a bright light that knew my name.
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Phil Spector's Wig began life in the jungles of west Africa - a lone surviving pup - after poachers illegally and cruelly killed its mother and litter-mates. Orphaned, cold and desperately thin, Phil Spector's Wig was found by a kindly National Park Ranger and given a home. Hand fed 4 times a day with bottles of goat's milk, Phil Spector's Wig was raised as human hair for three years before it became too large to continue to live in the tiny forest quarters of the Ranger. Trading the caged hair for the equivalent of $40 American, Phil Spector's Wig was seperated from a loving environment for the second time in its short life.
The next five years were a blur of animal traders, zoos and carnival side shows - a parade of cages and handlers that seemed to reawaken the wild yearnings of the seemingly tamed beast . At long last Phil Spector's Wig came to rest in a habitat at the L.A. Zoo, sharing the space with Burt Reynold's 1970s Fill-In-The-Blank, an Eva Gabor Fall and three of Shatner's Early Rugs.
It was at this time that Phil Spector's Wig was seen by the legendary music producer's stylist. Ageing, dry and in need of an all-over blunt trim, Phil Spector's Wig was bought for an undisclosed sum and quietly removed from the Zoo's collection. After six months of aggressive moisturizing and rumored electro-shock treatments, Phil Spector's Wig initially appeared on his head shortly before Mr. Spector was put on trial for the murder of Lana Clarkson replacing the hairpiece that had been a potential witness to her mysterious death.
In early court appearances, Phil Spector's Wig displayed the aggression of a beast long tamed against its will - it threatened to take over the trial and tip the scales of Justice against its Master. For this reason, it had to be beaten mercilessly into an obedient blonde Page-Boy where it sat for the four-plus months of the trial.
On Monday, April 13th, Phil Spector was found Guilty of the Second Degree Murder of Lana Clarkson. Should his Wig have been put on the stand in his defence? Just what did the hair see? We may never know.
Free Phil Spector's Wig! I believe that slow exposure to the wild would make it possible to someday release Phil Spector's Wig to the jungle from which it was taken. Phil Spector's Wig could live the life that Nature intended, wild and free - no longer beaten down by relentless brushing and cruel triple-processing. Phil Spector's Wig could once again take its place among the jungle's apex predators.
Please join me in this moral quest. Make your voice heard with mine! Free Phil Spector's Wig!
*This message brought to you by epistleoftimothy & The Campaign to Free Phil Spector's Wig which are solely resposible for its content. Funding from the World Wildlife Foundation and the United Hairdressers of America Philanthropic Fund.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Monday, February 02, 2009
Sunday, February 01, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Within the now-famous address is what historian Philip S. Foner has called "probably the most moving passage in all of Douglass' speeches."
What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sound of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants brass fronted impudence; your shout of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanks-givings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy -- a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.
Thursday, January 08, 2009
Saturday Morning 6:59am
The rustle of feathers,"I am the Lord thy God!." the bearded man sat across from Timothy in the lounge chair in his living room.
"Well you certainly look the part." Timothy replied, "A lot more convincing than the guy yesterday."
"Yesterday?" Christ furrowed his brow.
"Yeah, yesterday a guy in robes and ...hey, don't you know all about my yesterday? You're like God, and all, right?"
"I am the Lord thy God, yep, sure am." Jesus scanned the room,"Sorta dark in here."
"It's barely seven am on a Saturday," Timothy offered,"I usually sleep in. Uh, pardon my asking but you don't seem all that God-like, all-knowing and all..."
"I am the Lord-" He began.
"...yeah , thy God, I got that, "Timothy replied." Maybe you should get that printed on a T-shirt or embroidered on a pillow you could point to, less repetition that way."
Christ gestured and a small card-table appeared between them. "Let's arm wrestle." Jesus began rolling up the sleeve of his robe.
"How could that be fair?" Timothy pressed."Allmighty God, etc., etc..."
"Would you just humor me?"
"Jesus needs humoring? Is this a typical Saturday for you or are you feeling a little off?"
"Just put up or shut up!"Christ planted his right elbow on the table.
"Whatever."Timothy grasped his hand and slammed Jesus' hand on the table.
"Best two outta three?"Jesus asked.
"I need coffee."Timothy went to the kitchen.
"No seriously, I wasn't ready."
Timothy re-entered the room. "I've got to tell you that this isn't how I pictured you, uh...behaving, Lord. I guess I thought, I don't know, more flash and thunder clapping."
"I'm trying a new approach," Christ absently stroked his beard,"More 'down to Earth.' No pun intended."
"You're not doing yourself any favors."Timothy ducked back into the kitchen.
"D'you need any help with the coffee?" Jesus asked.
"No thanks, I've got it."
The sputter of the coffee maker came from the kitchen.
"So how do you take your coffee?" Timothy asked from the kitchen.
"None for me, thanks" Christ replied.
Timothy leaned in from the kitchen, "I have an assortment of teas. Some are de-caf if you're avoiding caffeine?"
"It's not the caffeine. It's just, well I'm not entirely corporeal right now?" Jesus explained.
Timothy frowned, "I don't understand..."
"Corporeal is just another word for Physical, made of flesh -"
Timothy interrupted," I know what the word means. I'm just confused that you're not 'entirely corporeal' - we just arm-wrestled. I felt your hand."
"Why do you think you won so easily?"Jesus asked.
"You don't get to the Gym very often..."
"Very cute. I'll forgive you for that one." Jesus smiled.
"Thanks, I mean sincerely, thanks Lord."
An awkward silence was broken by Jesus," I'm just partly physical right now. I'm not supposed to manifest myself fully until my Second Coming. 'Til then. I can make these semi-corporeal appearances. See, I'm just physical on the outside today...no guts for coffee or musculature for arm-wrestling."
"So why did you challenge me to arm-wrestling? You even wanted to go two out of three?" Timothy pressed.
"I was hoping to psych you out. I'm Jesus, some people are more overwhelmed than you."
Timothy reentered, coffee mug in hand. "I guess I have a high 'awe threshold' or something. Plus there was the guy yesterday, with the same 'I am the Lord thy God' routine. Come to think of it, he had a lightning and thunder show that was pretty impressive."
"What made you think He wasn't Me?" Jesus asked.
"He had curly red hair and he wasn't wearing robes and sandals. He was wearing a black skin-tight body suit, knee-high boots. More MATRIX than First Century Galilee."
"I have a lot of imitators." Christ shook his head.
"I guess I never gave that much thought," Timothy sipped at his still hot coffee.
"So what have you got planned for the day?" Jesus asked.
"Usual Saturday stuff - TV, grocery store, write on my blog...nothing exciting. Why?"
"I just thought I'd hang out with you for the day. Should I change out of these robes?"
Timothy thought," Naw, I buy my groceries at a co-op, very hippie-dippy, earth-shoe, granola crowd. You'll fit right in."