Essay – 246 words
While walking down a street in the Kingdom of Thailand where ex-pats from around the world land, blending seamlessly into the local 1970 economy, I met a young boy with a man’s eyes.
He was probably ten – going onto forty – with worldly knowledge far beyond his tender years. Anuia was a frail street waif with the wisdom of the local marketplace for sale. He promised the best place to stay, my drug of choice, and prostitutes with breathless beauty, if I hired him throughout my stay.
We toured a banana plantation, and a red light district called
Pattaya, with outrageous sex acts they were not even considered risqué in the day. Creedance Clearwater Revival rocked the bars with “Looking Out My Backdoor.” I smoked some of the best weed in my life, comparing it to the Vietnamese strain that made you forget your name.
We watched kick fighter’s knock each other out, only to get up afterwards and respectfully bow to one another. Anuia shared his best curse words to get quick results, and bargained over every transaction like it might be his last. He was shrewd and a survivor, with no parents or family.
The thing that impressed me the most was he was always smiling – except when he negotiated a deal. His smile seemed to defy the life he led. When my time was up, and I had to go, he shook my hand, then turned to greet another group of visitors deplaning nearby.
Flash Fiction 400 -words
Deuce McCutcheon went to her funeral a year ago, but was still having trouble believing she was gone forever. Freyja was the love of his life. She was the first, and only, woman who could see behind the hideous mask of his contorted face, which was a result of a terrible childhood injury.
She never hesitated to kiss his twisted lips in public or private. They were soulmates, spending endless hours talking through sleepless nights. Sharing their dreams and inner desires until exhaustion overtook them both. Their years together flew by like days as the lovers languished in the security of one anothers embrace.
As lovers often do, they talked about life after death and what they would do when the horrible time came when one was left without the other. They weighed in on his Christian Heaven, and her Norwegian Valhalla. They explored the concept of life energy moving from one host to the next. They planned elaborate ways of communicating from one realm or dimension to the survivor’s world.
But nothing worked. Deuce grew more depressed every day. On the anniversary of her death he visited her grave. Pulling out a sprig of sage he lit it and passed the smoke back and forth over her resting place. Next, he pulled out his pipe and packed it with a strain of their favorite cannabis, and puffed on it thoughtfully as he looked at her photo which he brought with him.
A thought entered his grief. Hazy and unformed. He realized that he had saved more than just photos of her. He had saved her old cell phone number. He was fumbling for his old-fashioned flip cell phone when the sun parted the dark clouds that hung over the cemetery.
Opening it, he went straight to his address book. There it was. Freyja’s phone number. The chill seemed to go away and he took his jacket off while staring at the number. He was experiencing a strange sense of peace. He pushed her number…and waited. It rang three times. Then he heard Freyja’s high voice…”I wondered when you would call,” she teased him.
The next day a ground’s keeper discovered Deuce’s body, curled up on a grave. He was still clutching his cell phone. Later when asked about his discovery by a reporter, he said, “You should have seen the smile on that guy’s face!”
I looked like a defiant little boy
staring into the camera with his toy
with my serious eyes and curly hair
it could have been taken anywhere
a black and white memory of days past
a glimpse of youth that didn’t last
no trace of a smile on my chubby face
it appears I’d rather be in some other place
what caused me to look so grim?
something serious, or just a whim?
I can’t remember what I thought that day
it appears someone interrupted my play
childhood photos are ghosts from our past
while memories fade, they’ll always last
as we all know, opinions are like assholes
we all have one…
in a world of critics and skeptics
opinions are subject to fact-checks
based upon disbelief
or the PC police
few opinions stand the test of time
and the rest are borderline
people naturally opinionate
it’s in our DNA to debate
you’re either right or wrong
making it hard to get along
opinions have led to war
destroying lives and more
peace-loving people say
it doesn’t have to be this way
the people who spend their time really communicating
are taking an important path towards eliminating hating
learning to have a successful conversation
is the way to reinvigorate a polarized nation
it’s important young and old listen to one another
instead of stepping on words disrespecting the other
for civility to return to our divided society
we need to call out destructive impropriety
It needs to stop
Everyone needs to listen
Then we can talk
our society has phonies to the left and right
truth is shunned and kept out of the limelight
getting real in these chaotic times is no easy task
everyone in the country is hiding behind a mask
deciding what is right or wrong is a real chore
it’s difficult to know who to abhor or adore
getting real is becoming harder every day
because people worry about what to say
it takes confidence and purpose to get real
sometimes it also takes nerves of steel
everyone, and thing, has a brand in this land
products and people seeking to expand
Levi’s, McDonald’s, Coca Cola, and Jeep
all culprits in the corporate branding creep
ambitious people market themselves every day
using their talent and experience as a resume
but some people avoid brands, big and small
because they don’t think branding is good at all!