NORMAN SAVES THE DAY

Norman was a tall, soft-spoken, lanky, freckled-faced kid.

I never knew Norman had a problem until Mr. Bell asked us to swap papers and I graded Norman’s pop quiz. I was shocked. Norman’s quiz was a mess of wrong answers shot through with grammatical and spelling errors.

I was a just kid and had no clue about learning disabilities. I had my own trouble with jumbling letters when reading and writing, and believed with more practice, I would fix the problem. And I thought the same about Norman’s problem too.

I knew Norman from playing sports.

Even though our teachers and principal forbade us, we played tackle football without pads and helmets in the morning, at lunch, at recess, and afternoons while waiting for the bus. And while Norman was a god kid, teams would choose other kids before him. Continue reading

NO ONE KNOWS A DAMNED THING

Our world is not a friendly spot for anyone insisting on certainty. But for those who crave certainty, why not try the Web?

The Web brims with confidence.

But do inhabitants of the Web struggle with uncertainty? How is it that avatars radiate self-assurance in spite of minds addled by drugs and bodies saddled with debt?

In their ecstasy, do they forget they are really animated lumps of mud and one day soon, they will become dust and blow away on the winds?

Is it true that some believe that soon someone will invent a way to download their minds from their bodies and upload them into computers? Continue reading

SNAPSHOTS

I love snapshots.

Anyone with enough practice or luck can take a good one. And most people have taken a great one.

I remember long ago my dad telling me to put the Sun to my back as I shot with our Kodak camera.

And It’s funny looking through our old snapshots, because it’s not hard to figure out who shot which snapshot.

My mom was the Queen of Hearts. In fact my dad lectured me on the first rule of photography saying, “Son, whatever you do, don’t give mom the camera. She’ll chop your head off every time.” Continue reading

THE BEDROCK TIME SLIP

This is a dream I dream where I was Fred Flintstone trapped in a George Jetson world. The entire dream is here more or less with some embellishment.

The bed tilts me onto a conveyor belt that whisks me into the shower. Along the way, a vacuum sucks off my nightshirt; spigots open and shower me luxuriously. I stand naked and cold and dazed. Then a mechanical arm brushes my teeth. Afterwards a blow dryer blows me with a mechanical smile. I shave. Continue reading

MONSTERS (NOT ROBOTS)

Ms. R. stormed into my life in 2005, rearranging the furniture in my brain. So I wrote this letter for her not knowing what she would think. And I let her see it before publishing it. She said it was sweet and the nicest thing anyone wrote for her—poor girl.

for Rachel H.

I know a woman who dreams and whose dreams feed upon the Earth—dark dreams where the living dead seize this Earth one agonizing victim at a time. With one bite, the heart pumps infected hemoglobin down dark arterial paths that twist and branch and broaden from species to genus and from genus to phylum where they terminate in the Kingdom of the Dead. Continue reading