On the Bench…

67 Drawing Of Two People Sitting On A Bench Illustrations & Clip Art -  iStock

An aging man ask the aging woman how life had been treating her.

“Just fine,” she responded. “Raising my little boy to be a Big Man. Working nights. Don’t have much of a social life. But when I have an itch that needs scratched, I have a nice man stashed away that I visit that makes me supper. And he makes me breakfast in the morning.”

“Good for you,” the man said.

“Does anyone cook you breakfast,” she asked, adding an emphasis on BREAKFAST.

“Yes. And we are very happy.”

“Why do you look sad, then?”

An aging man does not like to answer those kinds of questions. They are HARD questions. Because, sometimes, men don’t know why they are sad.

They get up.

They work.

They talk with aging women about itches that get scratched.

There are some smirks.

Some laughs.

Sometimes when all SHOULD feel right & crisp & fulfilled… for him, they are not.

His back is sore.

The neck tingles for some supernatural reason he is too terrified to confront.

He has to take a pill to wake up.

Another, different pill to go to sleep.

A pill to stimulate an appetite.

Another one to suppress it.

There are debts he knows will never be paid-off.

That bills will be there waiting & picking away at him

But, at the moment, this Young, aging Mother made his day: she reminded him there ARE things like breakfasts to look forward to. That, sometimes, there is an extra egg in the carton. And that is nothing to sneeze at.

She reminded him a dollar was still VERY important. Versus the person that NEEDS one.

How could he argue with someone like this?

Their STATEMENT is so clear, so driven with intent, he was beside himself. And, after a few more minutes of “telling-it-the-way-it-is,” he felt a little better.

Dropping the dime – or a million number of dimes, into the slots – IS something easy to do.

But that’s just not his style.

Something Everyone Should Know About Me

7 Food sketch ideas | food sketch, food illustrations, food drawing

Other peoples’ cooking does not bother me. I feel no threat whatsoever if someone’s lasagna is better than mine; however, I do feel guilt when I overcook a steak. But none at all if I undercook one.

Macaroni & Cheese is something you should not feel shame in enjoying. Not only is it delicious, it’s affordable.

I know how to make spaghetti sauce from scratch. But there is no shame in using the stuff from the jar. You can always make yourself FEEL like an Italian chef by adding some parmesan cheese & parsley flakes to the gravy.

(If you REALLY want to make things wicked & wild, drop a cube of chicken bouillon into the boiling pasta water.)

Hot dogs are American; if that bothers anyone, go eat somewhere else.

Cheeseburgers ARE paradise, and the French fries are her loving arms.

Cotton candy should only be indulged in the way one would indulge narcotics – IN PRIVATE! Same thing applies to Candied Apples & Apple Fritters.

I do not know how to make fresh, warm & buttery baked bread. But I want to learn.

My mother showed me how to make pie crust. Unfortunately, since I am a drunk-in-remission, I forgot. I forgot something I wanted to learn for a very long time.

My Great Uncle, from what I have been told, baked pies & bread all the time – IN THE NAVY! And that is inspirational in itself. And, for all of those unfortunate enough to have NOT known him, you missed out on one Original Case of God Rolling the Dice.

Sweet food should only be eaten at night. Unless it is a root beer float. The best time to have a root beer float is when it is summer. When the sun is out in late afternoon, just as it is starting to cool down from the hottest parts of the day.

For some reason, to me, if you are caught eating a Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pie in public, there is something completely Ohio about you.

Microwave popcorn is fine & dandy. Theatre popcorn is full of flavor & smells & colors that is orgasmic in a non-sexual way. Which, I know, does not make any sense. And, if any one of you readers can explain the magic to me, I’ll cook dinner for you. And take you to the movies. Popcorn will have to be a must, though.

Pancakes & Waffles – there is a secret to cooking them. And I will not divulge such a secret on such a public platform.

Yes: you can go to a diner and order pancakes, or waffles… but, to be honest, something is lost in the hiatus of The Breakfast Rush of a restaurant. Trust me on this. I am, when it comes to this, an absolute Professional.

If you want GOOD pizza, go to your local pizza parlor, order a pie. There is something about fresh dough that is AMAZING. The right dough, the right sauce, and you are as golden as the pie crust.

Ars Poetica

BY: Archibald Macleish

A poem should be palpable and mute   
As a globed fruit,

Dumb
As old medallions to the thumb,

Silent as the sleeve-worn stone
Of casement ledges where the moss has grown—

A poem should be wordless   
As the flight of birds.

                         *               

A poem should be motionless in time   
As the moon climbs,

Leaving, as the moon releases
Twig by twig the night-entangled trees,

Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves,   
Memory by memory the mind—

A poem should be motionless in time   
As the moon climbs.

                         *               

A poem should be equal to:
Not true.

For all the history of grief
An empty doorway and a maple leaf.

For love
The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea—

A poem should not mean   
But be.

Cigarettes & Salem

My mailbox was full… that, I am sure. As for the rest of the night, it could have been madness – the kind of madness sinking and rotting into the soul, when the soul has been spent and left in a city.

The city of Winston/Salem. That is where I found myself two nights ago. It was dark: past nine PM. Security Guards were checking permits, and doing their duties/jobs. Their white negro smiles and batons ablaze…

And what was I doing?

I was looking to smoke a cigarette. You would think a city such as Winston/Salem would support such behavior. It is the American Tobacco Motherland. Hell, two brands of popular smokes originated in that concrete jungle of hypocrisy. Because of nicotine junkies like me, there is such a city, never mind the hospitals the cigarette companies paid for.

What started as a low – a low evening, in wait – turned even lower, still.

God bless the big man from the gas station (he gave me the book of free matches). That was a long hike from the hospital. It was a BP gas station. He would not permit me to simply use a lighter. My pockets were already carrying around discarded, half-and-quarter cigarette butts from the streets.

This was a mirror to my past – and its desperation.

I have walked MANY streets. Been down some dark alleys… the type with glowing eyes and razorblades in the corners.

I’m not sure what came first. The dumb, stuttering and stupid, pathetic attacks… or, the thought to rationalize them. What could not – would not – be rationalized was the horror with which my wife found herself. A man – her man – sick in the brain, and still wanting nothing more than to fill his cup with overflowing addictions and predilections…

My hundred yes, yes, yeses to the sky, and to the air around me, served as my mantra to go on. To finish this rotten endeavor I’d put myself into: smoke a damn cigarette within 30 mins. And then back to my hospital room, back to the mechanical bed and television. I was NOT looking forward to going back to the room, the endless television, and the many “check-ins” with the nurses throughout the night. The damn blood-pressure cuff, needles…

Truth be told, I was LOST. I walked around and around the massive, massive medical building.

(I think I entered into seven different ENTRANCES/EXITS.)

Just being lost – not in the city – just LOST around a building, IN THE MIDDLE of the night was crazy enough. I was out of breath, hot… feeling lonely… and all the wonders in-between served me well.

I DID NOT have to be in a hospital.

That is what I came up with.

I NEED TO BE HOME!