“A chink, a spic and a nigger walk into a bar,” my father started the joke. The three neighborhood men grinned.
Even at my age, I knew that was no way to talk, but he was my father, strong and huge. Mom could shut him down, no one else. His way of talking, of hitting, was what made her run. I never forgave her for leaving me alone with him, but I did understand why she ran.
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I apologize if the opening line offends. I don’t use such language lightly. After reading Finding Voice, I hope you’ll understand my choice.
Till the next post, chris
Well, it didn’t take long. When I launched the site, I vowed to myself to post at least every three days – fiction when I was inspired, and whatever captured my fancy when I wasn’t or when working on a longer piece. Today is the thirty day anniversary of my site’s launch. Already, eleven suns have set since my last post. I’ve broken my promise in record fashion.
I have a good excuse. My son, Neil, who turns eight this fall, was in town for his annual summer trip to Cleveland. I confess to a certain apprehension every time he visits. You see, I’m a part-time parent. Neil comes to town twice each year. The rest of the time, he lives in Newport, Rhode Island.
I often sit on the back porch to skim the headlines before going to work, but today I was taking the day off, giving me plenty of time to read the paper front to back. I figured that ought to ease my anxiety. After all, there’s nothing like other people’s misery to forget your own troubles. I devoured the lead story about yet another politician caught sexting. Wouldn’t they ever learn?
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While running errands today, I tuned into 92.3 The Fan, as I often do. Andy Baskin and Jeff Phelps were discussing an interview from a sister station, 93.7 The Fan out of Pittsburgh. John Phillips interviewed Pete Rose for his thoughts on baseball’s newest scandal, the Biogenesis affair which resulted in twelve player suspensions, including Alex Rodriguez’s unprecedented 211 game suspension.
Dust cakes the woman’s jodhpurs. The khaki pants hug her thighs tight like Charles hugged Lady Di before the divorce. Once shiny boots, black and genuine leather, with thick heels and ankle straps latched onto silver rings come up to her knees. A wrinkly white Oxford is mostly tucked in at the waist. She has that winded look, tired as a worn down mountain with jagged crags smoothed into glass.
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I hadn’t planned to write on this topic again. Yesterday, I shared what I liked and [mostly] didn’t like about the new, digitally delivered Cleveland Plain Dealer. I had thought I’d said my piece and it was time to move on. That was before I used my iPad to read the paper.
I’m trying my hand at flash fiction, complete stories told in a thousand words or less. My first effort, Sink or Swim, clocked in at 520 words, including title and dedication postscript.
The ocean is calm. Tiny waves pretend to crest like toddlers at the park wishing they could play with the big boys. Me? I am at peace too, an old man of the sea. The sun shines bright, reflecting off the water to keep me warm as memory. I want for nothing.
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For years, my reason why list stopped at two, but I knew the list was incomplete. Some decisions, I simply couldn’t explain as marketing efforts or avoiding litigation. Logic told me that reason number three existed, but finding it proved elusive.
We interrupt the regularly scheduled blog entry – Reason #3 in The Reason Why series – for a gripe session about, you guessed it, the new online Plain Dealer. For those of you who don’t live in Cleveland Ohio, the Plain Dealer, established 1842, is Cleveland’s only surviving daily newspaper. Or perhaps, I should say it was the city’s only surviving daily newspaper.