The Send-Off

The following first appeared in Laura Hedgecock’s blog, www.treasurechestofmemories.com.  With the trees budding and the bees buzzing, I thought it’d be a fitting post for a spring day.

There we stood, lined up along that faulted slab of asphalt outside the school gymnasium. Third grade. That time when it began to dawn on me that there might actually be something awkward in the way I looked—freckled with a wavy mop of hair; brown corduroy pants and red pull-ring zipper shirt that I’d come to know as my “Tuesday” ensemble. (more…)

The Dope House Philosopher

Mug Shot

The author as “Corey Brown”

Without even trying, I tend to be attracted to literary and film characters that, like me, share a nihilistic view of life and morality. Pretty ironic, given the fact that my day job requires me to uphold and enforce laws enacted from a bunch of handed-down, subjective truths. Perhaps it’s a bit of the Preacher’s Kid Syndrome in me, but there’s a part of me that envies those pesky trickster figures that get everyone all up in a twitter. You need ‘em to challenge the status quo; to point out the ideological hypocrisies of personal values. But above all, they’re just a heck of a lot more interesting to have around.

Back in my undercover days, I had one of the most succinct, albeit brief, conversations about this very topic with the unlikeliest of persons: a coke addict. For the past month, I’d been meeting “Ken” (not his real name) in his sad, flat apartment where, beneath the seizure-inducing flicker of a dying fluorescent light, I’d hand him $160 in exchange for an 8-ball of cocaine. Quick and simple. In-and-out. (more…)

Anywhere Is – Part II: The Lights of Africa

grenada

 

 

The man sitting across the aisle from me openly peruses a Penthouse, which, for some reason, no one seems to take note of but me. I’m cradling a coffee and watching the day gather in the east. The image of my face appears in the window, ghostlike against the blur of the rolling landscape. Every so often another train will pass in the opposite direction; the indistinct faces of other passengers flashing quickly before me like grainy celluloid images. People with identities and dreams and triumphs and losses and stories all their own who’ll appear before me in a flash then vanish forever, as I to them. (more…)

How to Know When Inspiration Hits You

When Inspriation hits the Grand Canyon

Do you know when inspiration hits you…

We know what’s supposed to inspire us. Nature. Music. Other things that inspire awe. But, do we really recognize inspiration when we see it? Do we recognize it when inspiration hits us?

I don’t. Especially when I hold “inspiring” to a higher standard. Inspiration isn’t just a warm fuzzy feeling. It’s what galvanizes someone to take action.

Looking back at the interactions and events that sparked a change in my life, I call them by other names. (more…)

Friend of the Devil

Friend of the Devil

If you’ve ever spent time in a morgue—and let’s face it, we all will some day—then you’ll remark on just how spic-and-span everything looks. Scrubbed, ivory-colored, tiled walls and gleaming linoleum. Shiny stainless steel pans and scales hanging everywhere you look. Ultraviolet bug lights making periodic ZAP sounds beneath the soft hiss of constantly flowing positive air. And then there’s the VIP seat. (more…)

The Ghosts of Second Street

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAI was willing to ignore the phantom reek of rotted yams and insecticide that I had narrowed down to the kitchen cabinets. And those jokers from the halfway house next door weren’t so bad once you got to know ’em. Located along Flint’s Second Street, nestled comfily at downtown’s outskirts between such wholesome-sounding streets as Chase and Asylum, I had found a place to call my very own. I was 18…and, so far, I was liking it. (more…)