Well blogger friends. I am headed off for a week or so to do some fishing and sitting by the fire at Tupper Lake, NY. Therefore, I might not be on here very much. Have a good time without me :)
In the mean time, I thought I'd share a piece I wrote about myself at different ages. Its 5 parts and each one tells about something that was going on at that age. All 5 of these experiences helped shape me. I added the approximate age next to each as a guide (they overlap). I hope you enjoy.
Five Faces I’ve Met
The Shammer (~5-8 years old)
Shuffle, Shuffle, Leap! Bojangling
routines at the mirrored wall, he
was gearing up for his first tap
tournament. He tipped his top hat
toward his right eye like Fred
Astaire and danced cheek-to-cheek
with his reflection until he’s called out
to perform the number he’s prepared.
The out of synch clapping sounded like
a lesson one shim-sham and the spot
light car-crashed his eyes like a nightmare
in the sun. The record scratched, popped,
then found the rhythm of happy feet.
He hot stepped like a dandy, chugging left
and spanking the softwood planks ‘til
his nerves tapped.
The Makeup Artist (~5-16 years old)
With her compact in his hands,
he did what he’d been taught. First,
dry those up with some tissue. He watched
himself gob up the spills. Skinny and
bruised like the last banana in the produce
section. The blood crusted around the rim
of his nostrils and taunted him with each
hiccupped breath. Rehearsing over and over
the story; I fell into the table . . . everything is
fine. It’s okay to lie to your teacher
to protect the family. Her true cameo is three
shades too light for his complexion but no one
ever seemed to notice, so he laid it on thick
in layers. Smearing, blending, but in the end
misshapen and burned out like a cheap dinner candle.
The Prospect (~8-15 years old)
.530 lifetime and a lefty. The kid
had the spirit of The Mick in his bat
and could put it wherever coach
wanted. Jersey number '1' every
year ‘cause the rest were too big.
Traveling statewide with his hand-
me-down Ryne Sandburg. The original
leather threads had been chewed up by
scoops and snags. Shoelaces held just
fine until he could go pro. The finger
slots were three sizes to big for his tiny
hands so he wore batting gloves to mind
the gaps. The palm looked hunted by
buckshot. The holes made it more aero-
dynamic. Through sevens, eights, and
nines they battled together over mounds
of sand and fields of turf. The season ended
two and eleven with a called strike three.
He buried his glove behind home.
The Tracksider (14-16 years old)
He found home in the arms of a
hollowed cigar. And rolled in the red
laced grass licking the sweet cinnamon
scrolls before pressing his lips gently
to it’s budding slit and sucking in it’s
sex cry. They stayed warm by the fire
and played pin the rock on the freight cars
as hours burned into nights burned into ash.
Swinging from the monkey bars, playing tag
against the illegals who hid there as well.
Spotlights beaming from unmarked Impalas
scorched their faces causing them to freeze like
deer before galloping to the safety of the trestles.
They watched all sides like a squad of mercenaries
scouting the jungles outside Pusan.
The Soldier (17-25 years old)
Needing something, he boarded his
first flight en route to hard Knox with
just his duffle and a picture of his grand-
parents. Ready to put the first sixteen to
rest and get well, he quickly adapted. In
basic, the Drills roared and leaped at him
like silver backs in the Congo. Versed in
sadism, his troubles were few. The slop
splashed on his tray three times a day
taught him the value of consistency. He
learned God’s virtues reading his Smart
Book. Set out on prophetic journeys over
lands blood-soaked by centuries of crusading
explorers and visionaries. He donned symbols
from many ancient texts like a Pagan, praying
for the ear of any Deus who’d listen. He
scoured the paths camouflaged in Earth for
his own protection; he staggered through
overgrown pastures and ocean-less beaches
in squads of twelve with his iron gavel in
his fists, searching for righteous testimony.