Boston Joins The List

It’s Monday night. 15 April 2013. A day that will be recorded in history. At least until people forget about it. Which they will. Time seems to do that. It makes people forget. And more time makes them forget more.

Remember these?

Sandy Hook Elementary School – 14 December 2012
Clackamas Town Center, Oregon – 11 December 2012
Accent Signage Systems in Minneapolis, Minnesota – 27 September 2012
Oak Creek, Wisconsin – 05 August 2012
Aurora, Colorado – 20 July 2012
Cafe Racer Espresso in Seattle, Washington – 29 May 2012
Tulsa, Oklahoma – 06 April 2012

These all made national headlines in the past 12 months. Do you remember them all? Really? Honestly? Do you? I know I didn’t. I had to look them up. As I read about them, I remembered them.

People tell me I’m cold hearted. Heartless. I’m not. I named my blog “My Soul’s Tears” for a reason. I’ve learned, the more awake I become. The more aware I become. The more I learn. The more I grow. The more sorrow, sadness, and pain I see all around me.

What happens when you get up in the morning and get ready for work? Do you look forward to going to work? Or is work something you put up with, something you endure, to get the paycheck, so you can survive in the world? Do you like your work? Or do you wish you could be anywhere else, doing anything else?

I take walks. Several a week. Sometimes, I walk at the Botanical Gardens. I love to walk through the flowers, and the trees, when they are blooming. Have you seen an ocean of Camellia trees in full bloom? Reds, pinks, whites, and variegated? Did you know they bloom as early as December? I know these things. I’ve learned them. And sometimes, as I walk through the Camellias, I cry. I can’t help it. I cry for the people I have known in life. The people I have met in life, that never took the time to walk through the Camellia trees in January, and marvel at their beauty. That never looked at a thousand different Camellia blossoms, and found them all perfect. That never spent three hours outside, in freezing weather, taking pictures of those blooms. Hundreds of pictures.

My soul cries tears for them. For I know they do not understand the priceless gift those Camellia trees and their blooms are. They’ve forgotten. They have other priorities. They have their work. Their families. Their houses. Their social lives. Their churches. Their nights out. Their workouts. The list is endless. And when they do look, they’re on a schedule. “I’ve got half an hour to walk through here. Then I have other things to do.”

Sometimes, I walk down the East or the West dike at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. It’s 4.6 miles from the Back Bay Visitors Center to the False Cape State Park Visitor’s Center. The only way to False Cape is through Back Bay, or down Back Bay’s beach. To walk the False Cape, and back, is just over 9 miles. I make that walk several times a year.

And sometimes, on that walk, I cry. And my heart aches. Because I remember people I know, people I’ve known, that will never make that walk. That learn the walk is miles and miles long, and they think I’m crazy for even trying to make that walk.

These people will never see the cottonmouth snakes crossing the trail at the end of the West Dike. They’ll never see the ospreys flying over the waters of the sound, searching for fish in the water. They’ll never see the banded Kingfishers zipping along just over the water, suddenly plunging in. They’ll never see the turtles, baking in the sun on the shores of the dike. They’ll never see the Blue Teals feeding in the waterways of the refuge. They’ll never see the deer walk right across the trail, so close you can see their whiskers, and the little spots on their sides. So close you could almost reach out and touch them. They’ll never sit on the ground, scant feet from wild rabbits, and watch those rabbits eating the wild grasses, and flowers.

They’ll never take the time. And if they ever do, they’ll make the trip inside the tourist tram, with a guy on a speaker saying, “And to your left, if we’re lucky, we might see some Blue Teals.”

I know how priceless these gifts from life are. I have taken the time to see the wildflowers bloom. To see the bare branches and limbs of Magnolia trees fill with pink, white, or gold blossoms. I’ve seen baren cherry trees fill with pink and white, then turn green as the pink and white blooms fall away. I’ve seen Rhododendron trees covered with oceans of flowers, in blue, purple, pink, red, and white.

I’ve watched squirrels eating nuts, and pine cones. I’ve watched robins probing the ground in search of food. I’ve seen cormorants diving underwater to chase fish. I’ve seen fish spawning. I’ve seen ducklings, all solid fluffy yellow, and watched them grow, becoming full grown Mallards.

And as I’ve watched these things, I’ve sometimes cried, my heart aching in my chest, and my soul screaming at God, “Why? Why can’t they see these things?”

I wonder why no one’s afraid of getting in their car, and driving to work, or the the store, or to school. I wonder why no one’s afraid of walking through the shopping mall. Why no one ever fears walking around at a big event, like the Neptune Festival, or the Azalea Festival, or Harbor Fest, where there are oceans of people, and no one knows if someone in that crowd is going to pull out a gun and start shooting, or pull out a knife and start hacking and slashing.

And I wonder why these same people can’t ever be alone. Can’t ever be somewhere quiet. Can’t sit on the sand by the ocean, and watch the sun come up, unless someone is with them. Unless they have a hand to hold.

And I wonder why so many people scream, or cry, or become outraged, or become afraid and seal themselves in their homes for a while, when something like today happens. When the news shows explosions on crowded city streets, where people get hurt, and even die.

And I don’t understand at all why something that happens every day gets ignored, while something that’s rare becomes terrifying. Do they even understand how many people die behind the wheel of a car every day? How many people collapse of exhaustion, or heart attack, or stroke, at work, every day? How many people go to bed at night, wondering if they’ll wake up tomorrow? How many people go to bed at night, wondering if they’ll find something to eat tomorrow?

I don’t understand people.

I just don’t understand people at all.

And every time something like today happens, I realize just how much I don’t understand the way the people around me are.

And my heart aches.

And my soul cries tears of pain.

For I know it won’t be long before everyone forgets. And I know it won’t be long before something like this happens again. And I’ll wonder, just as I do know, how long it will take for this world to change.

And I am afraid, sometimes, that it never will.

So on this Monday night, 15 April 2013, I try not to say anything. And let the world be the way it is. Knowing the hurt I feel, the tears my soul cries, are temporary things. And with time, they will fade away, just like the memory of today.

Isn’t that how life is anyway?

#MondayMixer : Simon’s Playhouse

Simon’s Playhouse sat next to the river, its windows boarded, its doors chained shut. The flowerbeds along its sidewalks only grew weeds. More weeds grew through the cracks in the sidewalk, and in the parking lot.

We’d all been sad when Simon’s closed. But Simon got what he deserved. Sanctimonious old fart, sitting in his office day after day, pulling out illegal Cuban cigars from the humidor on his desk. We’d really wanted to hold the show at Simon’s. We could have saved it, brought new life to it.

The pompous old bastard wouldn’t pay us what we needed to break even, and pay our cast. We’d opened at Theo’s. We’ve been a hit. Our third year just started last month. Simon’s closed two weeks later. In time, like Simon himself, Simon’s Playhouse will be nothing but a memory.

150 words.
@LurchMunster


I wrote this little ditty for Jeffery Hollar‘s weekly Monday Mixer flash fiction challenge. Please, go read all the other entries in this week’s challenge. They are all well crafted.

#12DaysBop : Day 3 – A Song Of Hope

It’s day 3 of Stacy Hoyt’s 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop. Today, the topic is the gift of music. There’s a song I know. One of my favorites…


“There’s a song I want you to hear,” Tommy sat next to Becky in the Panera’s.

“Another song?” Becky sighed. “The music you like is so… Depressing.”

“Not this one.” He opened his laptop and clicked play.

After a few seconds of the melancholic piano music, Becky shook her head. “See? Depressing.”

“You don’t understand it yet. You have to hear the whole song.”

She tried to listen, but the song was really depressing. The story of someone’s dreams coming to an end.

Standing by the ruins of your soul
That cries for some more meaning
Wondering when you have become
So cold

She was relieved when the song ended. “It’s such a sad song.”

Tommy‘s head sagged and he looked at his laptop “You didn’t hear it, did you?” His smile was gone.

“Hear what? The story of someone’s life falling apart? Everything coming to an end?” Sometimes, Tommy was so hard to deal with. How could he tell her this song wasn’t depressing? “Just another of your depressing songs.”

Tommy signed, then whispered,

Forget yourself
And who you are
Another life
Is not that far
Not that far

Becky could tell those words were important to him. “Tommy?”

“It’s what I had to do.” He looked up, right into her eyes. “What I had to do, when…” His voice faded into silence.

Becky saw the memory of pain in his eyes. She’d always wondered what he’d done before she’d met him at work, always wished he could trust her enough to tell her. “Tommy?” She reached out. Placed her hand on his, and quietly, almost whispering, asked “When what?”

Tommy smiled. “I’ve always wanted to tell you.”

That day at Panera’s, he did.


Please go enjoy the rest of the stories in the blog hop. There are some really gifted writers out there. It’s well worth reading their work. You can find the other entries here:

The 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop, Day 3 – The Gift Of Music

Memories : Sangai

Sangai and Kaosu were adopted brothers.
We got them on the same day
From the SPCA.
They even got neutered
On the same day.
At the same Vets office.
They grew from kittens
Into cats.
With each other.
And with us.

Sangai was almost orange.
With really soft hair.
And he was a whopper
Of a cat
At 14 pounds.
But he was skinny
As a rail.
A flyweight for his size.

And the funniest thing of all
Was to hear him talk.
The boy was a soprano.
With the highest pitched meow
I’ve ever hear.

Sangai and Kaosu
Slept with us.
Almost every night.
She complained always
About the little slice of bed
She wound up with,
Between me
And the boys.

But she never seemed to mind.

Life was good.
Like it was supposed to be.
Until one day…

… Sangai stopped eating.

We tried to feed him
All his favorite foods.
Even tuna
From a can.

He wouldn’t eat a thing.

She took our sick kitty
To the Vets office
Where we always go.
And they tried
Everything they knew.

Special food.
Medicine.
Fluids injected over night.
All kinds of things
Were tried.

To no avail.

Sangai wouldn’t eat.

They told us to take him
To a veterinary hospital.
They recommended one.
And that’s just what we did.
They recommended surgery.
There was a chance
It wouldn’t work.
But also a chance
It would.

He was one of the family.
And neither of us cared
At all
How much it cost.
We had to try
To help our boy.

He went through surgery.
And a few days later
He came home.
For the weekend.
He spent that Friday night,
Saturday,
And Sunday with us.

On that Monday,
I called in to work.
And took our boy
Back to the hospital.

They took him in.
To check him out.
And I went home.
To wait.

Before I got home,
She called me.
Back to the hospital.
It was time.

The surgery had failed.
They could keep Sangai alive
For a while.
On a respirator.
But that wouldn’t have been right.

When I got
To the hospital.
She and I stood there.
We said good-bye to Sangai.
And we watched
As he fell asleep
One last time.

They tell me
He was just a pet.
Just a cat.
That’s all.

Sometimes people are just stupid.
Or so it seems to me.
Ruthless.
And cold-hearted.
And not at all
The way they ought to be.

He was our Sangai.
Our friend.
And our companion.
And suddenly.
He was just gone.

But I know something
Other people never seem to learn.
Because of how they are.
With their approach of
Kill the pain.
And forget everything.

I remember Sangai.
Watching him climb
On the stair rails in the house.
Rescuing him from the top
Of the ladder more than once.
Where he’d climbed up.
And then gotten stuck.

He use to love
Sliced turkey meat
From the Wal-Mart deli.

And the thing I know.
He’s still there.
In my heart.
In my soul.
And every time
I remember
Watching him.

I just can’t help but smile.

‘Cause my memories
Of our Sangai cat
Are a part of me.

And that’s how
Things are meant
To be.