Sometime after 2 am Friday night a most troubled shriek broke my sleep. In the time it took to situate my senses in the dark, to rush outside towards the back yard the deeds were done. By the thin light of my phone I fumbled but eventually found two slain bodies who earlier in the day had brought me a laugh. There on the ground rested in blood my hens. About them feathers strewn everywhere. Evidence of the violence they faced in their final seconds.
The flood of all emotions hit me right there…in the near dark as my wife came to join me in silence. The body of one of our hens we never found. The agile animal that hopped over six-foot fences surely dragged it off and made a meal of her.
Last night…another attack and another death. One more body I
The man policing the perimeter didn
Back in 2010 I worked a cubicle at a building in Culver City. Working the late Customer Service shift I infrequently tuned to KSPN and listened to the game broadcast of whatever local sports team was playing. After a while I recognized a pattern. Whenever I listened the home team lost that game…since then I’ve stopped watching all sports.
My pop was inherently uncool. He spoke in broken English. His pompadour-like hair hadn’t be “in” for a while. His belts were gaudy. He didn’t trust video games, news magazines and East LA neighbours that claimed to not speak Spanish. He didn’t shoot hoops but would speak endlessly about when he played front
The wind coming from the west rakes the few leaves on the ground toward our rickety-sunbeat fence. Their rustle comes in waves and amplifies the creaking of bent nails, old wood and rusty hinges. The posts and beams of the homes 1950s design are starting to shed the heat they collected from a hot California October day and they moan occasionally with a start. There are no street lights so the night is engulfing our lot in all out darkness and pupils struggle to dilate enough to make sense of usually familiar surroundings. There is sound. The low hum of the refrigerator whose coil occasional twangs when the cooling cycle ends. Coos and sighs from the bedrooms. The leaves, the twigs and the branches cause the loudest cacophony and they are conspiring with one another. The home is reveling in its welcome of the shifting winds for those who are willing to listen to her.
My mom bought in bulk. Bulk bananas, bulk loaves of bread, bulk frijoles, bulk clothes…etc. Thanks to this I started college with a crisp set of white Hanes t-shirts and about four well creased pairs of tan Dickies and two Levi’s jeans.
With rare exceptions these wears were in my weekly rotation and I got no complaints. That is until the year I met a girl with an eye for patterns and thought it wise to introduce colour I to my life. In a few months
At 13 years old I still watched Silly Symphonies and liked them overall except for one. It started a plucky little duck who had lost his way and tried to find love in wrong places. Upon his saddest moment he looked at his reflection on rippling water and the distortion cause his image to shift and thwart. He realized then why he had been rejected by others and didn’t deserve to play with the cute yellow ducklings sliding off momma’s back. I didn’t like that moment because it reminded me of me me and what the mirror showed. I had an odd homemade haircut, too many spots on my chin/nose/forehead, my nose was too long and I had an awkward smile. I didn’t like looking at my self too much in those early teen years and it would take some time before I came to peace with the face I’d be allotted.
I take solace knowing that the little silly duck found his parents eventually and they seemed to love him no matter what.
We live in a time when we have self-indexed so well that in seconds any one of us can “pull up” another’s information and have some access to their life.
Today, as the dust begins to settle and the now familiar ebb-and-flow that follows tragedies begins its usual cycle I too joined hundreds of thousands of researching who were the victims and did I have a connection with them. As the names of those lost in Las Vegas this Sunday started to stream into my Twitter feed I easily pulled up the Facebook or the Instagram and punched in names.
There, more often than not, smiling faces easily made their way onto my phone screen. The comments below them were eerie. Some made no mention of a persons loss. Some were inundated with condolences, thoughts and memories of the deceased. It became surreal to think that these messages would never be read by the person who first started the account and had decided to share some of their life with a perfect stranger like me. It saddened me to think that, overall, that last photo of a martini glass, or the pair kissing on a balcony, or the clunky video of a crowd singing would become the last line lines authored persons who would have their mortal coils violently stripped from them.
I mourn the life of strangers because they are like me in so many ways. They seemed to have wanted to share their better selves with friends, families and guys like me who now come to their profile and realize that their stream has been dammed off.