Sunday, November 9, 2014

A stranger walked into my office. He didn't knock. He was tall, in his early twenties, with the long muscular look of someone who was a competitive swimmer or fencer, or some other sport that children of the wealthy do at their Ivy colleges.

I didn't know what he was doing in a run down private-eye's office. Usually when his kind get caught up in a sex scandal like when a hooker gets found dead on the stained floor of a motel room, the Senator as daddy calls a DA who rearranges the furniture and cleans the sheets.

The kid pulled a gold ring off his finger and dropped it on my desk.

"I know what you're thinking," he said. "That I'm in trouble, and why would a young guy like me see a guy like you."

"I would never think that," I lied. "What's with the ring?"

"It's my daddy's. It's worth quite a lot. Maybe, $10,000. More importantly, it was once my grandfather's, and then my father's, and now it is mine, a graduation gift. You're a private-eye, I want you to find the ring."

He pulled from his vest pocket an envelope stuffed with money. "This is your retainer. I pay $1,000 a day. Just find the ring. No questions. I'll call you."

He walked out of the office and didn't shut the door behind him. I'd wait for his call. See what was up. In the meantime, I'd try on the ring every day. It fit perfect on my little finger, like it was made for me. Just as I wore strange trouble like a designer suit.

To Be Continued...

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Once I drank a bottle of sweet wine
my love is empty now, like the bottle I left behind
I stagger slightly...and lonely,
against the howling wind of Dylan's North Country Fair
Oh, the sweet, sweet wine
you whetted my lips from a long, long time
But winter is coming, and I still stagger slightly and lonely
My heart is empty at the love I left behind

Sunday, July 6, 2014

I walked along a path of dry white bones and wondered what death was. I shook my head to make the question go away, but death covered me the way skin once covered these bones. That night terrible visions within my sleep came to me. Then I awoke with my lungs faint of breath. In youth I would not have these dreams. But the end cannot be near? I do not know. I walked the path of bones once more and cried and laughed and found the answer: to cry along with laughter and in the balance sheet that is my life, may I profit from days of joy.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A friend knocked on my door. It was 2am, but I wasn't asleep. Like him I was unemployed, and stayed up late reading old spy novels.

When I opened the door I was surprised to see his tired, dying eyes. "I don't want to live no more," he said.

I took him in and gave him some coffee. It was cold out, and all he had on was a spring jacket.

I didn't know what to say, but I started talking.

"What are you saying about wanting to die?" I asked.

"When I sleep, bullies come to me and do cruel things. They hurt me bad."

"But they're only dreams. Pay no attention to them and they'll go away, Johnny."

"Can I stay on your couch tonight. It's cold out and I got nowhere to go."

"Sure," I said. I didn't tell him I had to be out by the end of the next day. I hadn't paid my rent, not since I lost my job. Like him I'd have nowhere to go.

The next morning, I shook Johnny, but one of the bullies must of taken him in the night. The landlord showed no mercy. Said the dead man was my problem, and he wanted the both of us gone. I packed my belongings and left Johnny behind. Even when he died, the bullies couldn't leave Johnny alone.
I walk along a path of frozen leaves.
Wondering only of my mortal self.
I wander absently within the barren beauty of the old, the fallen. I hear the trees: Listen to us!
In silence I walk quickly with icy steps. The first snow and wind against my cold skin. My feet unsure, I catch my balance before I fall. The talking trees scared me. It is early winter and I was not there when they lost golden leaves. Tomorrow I will know their sorrow and make prayer in the emptiness of winter.