As a young child, I always imagined myself a bird, poised to take wing the next time my parents told me I couldn’t do what I wanted, to swoop around, out of their grasp, until it was time for lunch or dinner.
Years later my dream was to be a pilot, Air Force not Navy, I might get seasick and that isn’t a sight even I would want to see, until I read Jarrell’s “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner,” and the ground seemed a safer place.
Once in the business world, I thought about some day retiring young and seeing the world on the cheap, Asia, Africa, Oceana, and that lasted until the second time I had to fly to Japan with fourteen hours in a coach class middle seat on a Boeing 747 when my backyard suddenly became the future of my dreams.
When I was younger (much), I could wander Manhattan and be what any neighborhood required, so long as I stayed south of 110th Street or north of 155th.
I was Greek ordering gyros, Russian at the Tea Room, Italian along Mulberry and Canal, although in Chinatown I was just someone who wandered a bit far from the heart of Little Italy.
I could order deli at the Stage like a local, and complain about the pastrami no matter how lean it actually was, and lift a couple of pints at Tommy Makem’s Pavilion listening to trad music late in the night.
Now I walk around man made lakes in Florida, and cook the ethnic foods so lacking here, a bit of heaven, but really, Cheesecake Factory is not now and never will be fine dining.
Each year in Pamplona the bulls begin their slow descent down the narrow streets gaining speed nostrils flaring muscle and sinews taut they forge ahead a white wave preceding them in their mad dash and each year there is one, some years two who, by slip of foot or lapse of judgment meet the horns of the lead bull who in disgust snorts “this one is no Hemingway.”
First published in Defenestration ,Vol XVI Issue 2 August 2019
In the beginning there was a void, stasis, dimensionless. I am a point, without size taking form only in motion, so too the seat on which I sit on United flight 951 not going from point A to point B for neither can exist in motion transcending time.
Each decision sets one me on a path, into a dimension, dimensions while I tread a different path and I a third, yet I have seen the step ahead before having been on its path as all random walks must cross endlessly. The universe grows crowded with exponential me’s creating paths, and so must expand, until we cross and in some minuscule amount contract the cosmos.
Often I seek pain to slow the pace, or pleasure to quicken it, always immutable. I have learned all of this in my endless search for my paradoxical twin who prefers the accelerated pace, moving as quickly as possible, who looks younger at each intersection. Good night Albert.
First Appeared in Afterthoughts (Canada), Vol. 2, No. 4, Autumn 1995.
We spent one morning of our visit to Key West wandering around Hemingway’s home.
The six-toed cats seemed to realize that we were cat people, came over to us, took us aside for a petting and conversation.
He was a tough old goat, they said, or so our ancestors told itm and we cannot begin to understand why you, cat people, so obviously intelligent would pay to see the old typewriter he hated, because the S and D keys always stuck
We scratched them behind the ears, sat by the empty pool, and waited for a literary inspiration we knew was never included in the ticket.