I take bets with my best friend on professional fights. We never bet with money and we never collect. We bet food, and depending upon the odds or the fighter, our bets range from classic favorite sandwiches, to hotdogs with unlimited toppings.
The bets swing from simple chicken dishes to, to fish or sushi rolls, and on occasion, we will go as far as surf and turf. And after each bout, we talk about the fight and meeting up to settle our debts.
We lost track of who owes what a long time ago—but the bets continue and the meals we wager have become Continue reading
“It’s gonna be a New Year,” said one of my bosses.
This did not come from one of the top bosses. It came from one of the assistant supervisors. “There’s gonna be some changes made around this place,” he said.
“I’m putting my foot down.”
I arrive at work the same time each morning. I come in early to ease myself into the process. I begin by putting my hand inside of a hand-scan, which reads my fingerprints, and starts my hours on the clock.
My next step is to an old gray door with vented louvers that take up one Continue reading
There is a fine line between us and the edge.
Sometimes we feel as if we are teetering over it . . . the edge, I mean.
I know this because I have visited this edge several times myself.
I recall standing at the driver’s side door of my car while parked in front of a momentary place I called home. I remember the stillness of my town during a quiet Sunday morning. I could hear the sound of Church bells nearby and felt an overwhelming sense of awareness as I awoke in the aftermath of my behavior.
I stood between myself and change. I was at a crossroad and Continue reading
I arrived on a greyhound at the bus station in Hempstead before midnight. There was snow on the ground—perhaps this was the last time I had ever seen so much snow on a Christmas Eve.
My trip was as long as it was as numbing. I sat in a window seat near the back of the bus and stared out at the changes of landscape. I watched the snow fall from a light-gray sky, which turned darker as night progressed. I thought about my destination and the future that was about to unfold.
I was 17 years-old at the time and you were 62 at the time of your exit.
The bus was late—so when I arrived at the station, I made my Continue reading
The outcome became clear to me when I heard the sound of a heavy steel door close behind me and lock into position. I heard the sound of drunken inmates as they howled in their small holding cells. Further down the line, I heard the crying sobs of a young man whose only temporary comfort was his separation from the other criminals in the Town of Hempstead’s Holding Facility.
It was as clear Continue reading
It was only a few days before Christmas . . .
After a long drive from the farm and visiting The Old Man in the hospital, I went back to my two-story cape, suburban home. All of the rooms were the same, except for mine. The couches in the living room were no different from how they were before I left and went away for treatment.
The kitchen was the same and so were the dining room, bathroom, and the television room. I walked into the house where I grew up after only being away for four months, and though I knew this house well, and though I knew its every crevice, every hiding space, and every sound the floors would Continue reading
We are moving closer to Christmas Day and the mad dash to find the right gift for the right person moves closer to the deadline. The malls are crowded and the stores are strewn with items falling from the shelves.
The lines at cash registers are long and tensions can be high at times. Shoppers seem to Continue reading
White horse gallops through steel shafts
which pierce your flesh
. . . . punctures your vein
and tunnels into bloodstream
(This is you)
Your eyes slowly Continue reading
The 2:00AM dialogue:
The lights were somewhat low, but almost golden, and flickering above the sawdust floor in a downtown bar. We sat at an old wide-planked table, which was round, with a plastic tray of peanuts that were spilled on a single sheet of paper towels. The emptied shells were scattered at the feet of our barstools. The deep mahogany walls matched the country-western theme and the crowd had begun to thin..
The music was somewhat loud and it was not my Continue reading
After the courts had their way and the outcome was final, I returned to The Farm to carry out my sentence. I was remanded to the completion of treatment in a long-term rehabilitation facility. I was to stay clean and comply with the terms of my probation for three years.
I took a program instead of time. Rather than serve behind bars; I admitted myself into a string of rehabilitation facilities. The first was a 28-day spot in the town of Kerhonkson, New York. I was the youngest patient in the house, which was not an easy.
Fresh from my 17th birthday, my skin was still too Continue reading