January 2013

10 articles in January 2013

Tthe taste of bitterness is all that I have left in my mouth… a heavy stone sits upon my heart. The world rejoices around me and I remain as the deaf and blind… cannot hear… cannot see.

A time of stillness that I cannot define, as if in a house of glass. I feel like a little girl in a deep dark forest, sitting under a tall tree, and yet not afraid, only awaiting what else fate may bring my way. As I sit, I remember how fate sharpened his swords, to cut through my heart again and again, leaving me lonely as always… for a moment in time I ceased my strikes and stopped fighting back.

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Ii woke up this morning with a monster on my nose! I was careful not to mention it to my wife because she doesn’t need too much inducement right now to lay a baseball bat across my nose, and swatting a ladybug would be as good an excuse as any.

This spring has produced more ladybugs than any year I can remember. Maybe it was the warm weather or the recent rain. They are not a major problem. In fact, they are kind of cute. The problem is that there are just too darn many of them. I have seen schools (flocks? herds?) of them climbing the walls, covering the screens on the doors, on the floor and on the furniture.

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Bback in ’73 Alaska was a very busy place. We had just begun construction on the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline and since there were not enough Alaskans to do the job, the country was overrun with cheechackos and snow-birds. TAPS, as the huge project was called at that time, was the largest construction project ever attempted.

Now you’re gonna have problems with anything that big! Summer was well underway when the company who employed me sent me to Chandalar to rope the new camp that was sprouting up like crabgrass on the barren tundra.

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Iit was Christmas night and all the toys were happy, in the hands of the children who had been given them as presents. The soldier was now guarding the room, the bunny was enjoying the heat of the fire, and the doll was sleeping, wrapped in silk sheets.

Only the teddy bear had been left under the tree, alone, except for a tuneless guitar. The lights of the Christmas tree had been switched off a long time ago and even the brightness of the outside snow was too weak for the tears of the unwanted teddy bear to be seen in the dark room.

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Tthey were closing in on him and he couldn’t run any faster, he just couldn’t. It was broad, noisy daylight and there were people about, but they wouldn’t do anything to help him, they never did.

They just saw a bunch of kids mucking around, or at most one boy being chased by four boys, and they just walked by, because you couldn’t interfere with kids these days, not unless you wanted the police to come calling. They didn’t see a fugitive being chased by a lynch mob. Tommy had nowhere to run to, and when they caught him he didn’t even fight. He was weak and gentle, wore glasses and thought that fighting was wrong.

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Tthe corridors were teaming with students, as 17 years old Katie lane swept out of her English class. With her best mate Suzy on one arm and her boyfriend Milo on the other, she strode out of the building, planted a quick kiss onto Milo’s lips and, with a ” See ya Suzy “, she climbed into her Mercedes.

She sped off up the hill, towards the new area of town in which her 3-storey house was situated. Behind her she left the usual crowd of admirers muttering, ” Isn’t she gorgeous!” and ” I’m getting my hair done tonight, just like Katie’s! It’s going to look great!”

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Oonce upon a time, there was a butterfly who was so sad and lonely that he did not want to live anymore. As he stood, very depressed, on the sea-shore, thinking about the uselessness of his life, he heard a soft, clear voice beside him.

“Good morning. Who are you?” The voice asked.
“I’m a butterfly, but who are you? A speaking stone? I don’t believe it!”
The voice replied. “I’m not a stone. I’m a shell, an oyster! I’m a living being just like you are.”

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Iin hindsight, it was a day like no other. It started off innocent enough: I was late for work. Waking up has always been a problem for me. Falling asleep was always a breeze. I once fell asleep standing up and at attention in an Army formation.

I was out all night drinking… errr taking orphaned children to the rescue mission in Germany. After performing my Super Hero duties all night long, I returned to my Army base just in time to catch the morning inspection.

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Aall I could do was stand in front of them, hopping on one foot with both of my arms extended in the air. The arguments against my male habits were coming hard and heavy, with me being outnumbered four to one. The only way I could think of, to stop the barrage, was to make the sign of a “Y” and state that it had nothing to do with me.

It had everything to do with my lack of a second X chromosome. My niece Kelly just looked at me in disbelief, and then looked at my Debbie, and stated, matter-of-factly, that I had just entered “Jim’s World”. This all happened at the end of the discussion that I was ambushed into becoming a part of. Let me go back to the innocence of the beginning.

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“What did you do in college?” Chuck Willard asked. Martin Sullivan gave a wry grin. “I was a grade grubber. I really didn’t have much time for dates. All I could think of was the degree. Graduate school was even worse. I had the reputation of being a brilliant student. Actually, I had to work my tail off, and I didn’t have time for anything else.”

Chuck was a senior engineer in the Engineering Department and had been an enormous help to Martin during the six months that he had been working for the city. They had soon become friends, and Chuck had had him out to the Willard home several times. It was probably those visits that did more than anything else to convince Martin he was missing out on an important part of life.

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