Monday, January 23, 2012


He haunted the night
A ghost
He haunted my dreams
A spirit
He haunted himself
A phantom
He haunted his past
A wraith
Never at peace
Looking at the world
Disdain in his tired eyes
He was a demon
To a small child
Down the street
A ghost
A spirit
A wraith
Barely a man.


There go
The soldiers
To war
There go
The soldiers
To battle
There go
The soldiers
Into fire
There go
The soldiers
Alongside Death
There go
The soldiers
The brave soldiers
For a cause
Their country's cause
Not their cause
Not their fight
There go
The weapons
The people
Are no more
The soldiers
Go marching
To war.

We Have a Problem

We Have a Problem
An airy, sunny day in NASA's Houston spaceport. Technicians and engineers scurried across the complex. Preparations, calculations, precipitation- it was raining. I finished my lunch and began my long walk toward the shuttle. I was an astronaut, and this was to be my first time in space. A simple orbit around the Earth to everyone else, but to me, it was the biggest day of my life. Er... sorry, son.
I reached the shuttle and climbed into the cockpit. My job was to monitor internal systems, fuel, oxygen, that sort of thing. My partner, Alan Richards, would be handling everything else. I thought he was a lucky sod, but I wasn't experienced enough to do anything he would, so I let it go. Alan had been with NASA going on thirty years. He was a living legend, infallible, practically Jesus in a space suit. Alan climbed into the cockpit not long after me. He turned to me and spoke.
“First time?” he asked, a sly smile playing on his face. The Al Rich smolder. the women in engineering called it.
“Yeah,” I said. “Have to admit, I'm nervous as hell. Is it always like this?”
“Heh, yeah,” he sighed. “I remember my first time,” he looked distant, nostalgic. At first I though he had fallen asleep, but then he spoke up again. “You can keep a secret?”
“Er... sure... yeah. Definitely,” his question had more an air of a statement, but I still felt compelled to answer. A secret from Alan Richards? I felt like a teenage girl meeting... whoever's famous these days.
Alan smiled, then turned that smile into a chuckle. “I like you,” he looked away, still smiling. “I crapped my pants my first time in space.”
What. What? “What?” Before I could pursue this weird as hell topic further, the countdown began. Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven.
“Well, here we go,” Alan said. Six. Five. “Might want to hold your breath, I always piss myself right as we take off.”
“WHAT?” I could not be hearing this, this was not happening. Two. Sure enough, I began to smell asparagus. One. Jesus Christ... liftoff.
Space. The final frontier. It really is as amazing as I had imagined it would be. The light of the stars played against the slightly reflective glass of the windows creating a beautiful effect. But before I could enjoy it too much, the smell of Alan Richards' urine assaulted my nostrils again.
“How old are you, Alan?” I looked up from the gauge I was monitoring.
“Fifty-six,” he looked nostalgic again. I couldn't tell if he was peeing.
“That's not really the age I would expect a man to need an adult diaper.”
“Nah, I don't wear those. But the suit's got filters, see. Clears the waste right out. Like a giant... diaper...” Alan quickly looked away from me as he finished. I couldn't believe this. The top astronaut of our time peed himself. Or did all astronauts do this? I shuddered at the thought. “You should try it,” he was speaking again. “It feels surprisingly free.”
“No thanks, I was potty trained, besides, I don't need to go- wait.” The oxygen gauge was blinking red. This either meant a leak, or tomato soup had been spilled on it. “Oh crap, look at this, Alan.”
“Leak? How could that happen?”
“Well, I know how it happened with you at least,” I laughed at my own joke.
Alan backhanded me. “This is no time for jokes, kid,” Alan's expression was surprisingly severe. He finally looked how I'd always imagined him.
“All right,” I said, surprised at his sudden change. “Uh... I'll check the tanks,” just as I said that, I heard a loud creaking,t hen a crash. Murphy's Law: Anything that can go wrong, will. I could feel sweat begin to form on my brow, then trickle down the side of my face. No oxygen. In space. Where no one can hear you scream. “I'll... call mission control.” I pressed a few buttons. “Houston, Houston! We have a problem! A big god damn problem!” I finally managed to put the call through, but got nothing but static.
“Son of a bitch,” Alan groaned. “How much left?”
I checked the gauge. “Five, six hours maybe?”
Alan yelled out in anger “Son of a god damn bitch!” This was definitely how I imagined him A “real badass.”
“Stop, you'll use up the oxygen faster by yelling like that,” I said, in spite of myself.
Alan sighed. “This is all your god damned fault,” I didn't question him, as much as I wanted to, not wanting to use oxygen arguing.
A few hours passed. We had been breathing as little as possible, and were both beginning to feel light-headed as the oxygen thinned.
“How much longer?” Alan said, his voice whispy.
“One or two hours, maybe,” I said.
“Ugh,” Alan groaned. We sat there for a few more hours. Then, my eyes lit up.
“Oxygen tanks! Don't we have oxygen tanks for our suits?”
“They were with the air, and that's gone,” Alan crushed my dreams.
“We probably have spares, we have too,” determined to not give up, I went around, checking behind every crevice and corner, sure enough, I found one tank. But a small one. Definitely not enough for both of us. I told Alan as much. His expression lit up a bit, but then became solemn again. “Sorry kid,” he stood up. “You know, you really were a hero.” I heard a neck crack, then fell into blackness.

New Year's

New Year
“Cutting Carbs,” I said. “Trying to stay fit,” I said. “I'll be fine,” I said. I was a freaking liar. New Years Eve had come early one year, and I was caught with my pants down. Of course, with my family being... my family, a resolution on New Years was as necessary as turkey on Thanksgiving, or creepy little rabbits on Easter. I quickly picked the most generic, and “easiest” resolution I could think of. “I'll drop twenty pounds,” I had told my family. It would be simple, just eat one less pizza bagel a day, and I'm set. God. I was an idiot.
Not two days after making my half-halfhearted resolution, I went to the fridge for a one-in-the-morning snack, as I tend to do, and found my fridge as eerily empty as my dating pool. Now, I knew I had stocked that fridge the previous day, and my cats can't have possibly eaten all my food. Who could have done this? Then, it hit me like a wrecking ball.
A few hours later, I was furiously dialing the phone numbers of every family member who had been at that New Years party, steam shooting out of my ears. I just knew one of them must have taken it upon themselves to “help” me toward my “goal.” I cursed that horrible day, New Year's Eve. The dawn of a new start, a chance to change. Yeah, right. Whoever did this was going to get a piece of my mind. I called everyone, Dad, Uncle Billy, Aunt Joel, Cousin Carrie, Grandma Anne, Other Grandma Sue, Other-Other Grandma Lucille, previously Grandpa Lucky, but none would admit to it, of course. Though most of them agreed the culprit was in the right. My loving family.
Finally, I sighed, and did something I was putting off. I called my mother. Some important facts about Mother Dearest, she was a neat freak, not one speck of dust was allowed in her home. Not a sinle dust-bunny. Not one piece of dirt. She would drop a nuclear bomb on her carpet if it meant a clean house. She also really loved the holidays. That relative who always wears cheesy, battery-powered light-up Christmas sweaters, brings everyone fruit cake and insists on wearing an antler headband? My mother. And she hated me, as well. Of course, she said she loved me, like any good mother, but I knew the truth, and it made much more sense.
It was around four in the morning at this point, so of course, I needed an excuse for calling Mother Dearest. I claimed personal problems, I just needed to talk to her. Which was true, for the most part. We chewed the fat for a while, I was trying to make her comfortable so she wouldn't pull that “Oh, dear, you're just paranoid,” line of bull she always uses. Finally, after discussing the merits of various stain removers, I made the leap.
I was casual at first, not wanting to scare her off. “So, I'm out of food.” I said.
“Oh?” she said. “Well, I told you to go to the super market last time I was there. I even gave you a coupon for pork ribs.”
I bit my tongue. The old bat was so cocky. So sure of herself. “I went shopping yesterday,” I said, trying to keep her on the ropes, “and now everything but the milk and a head of lettuce is gone.” I continued, feeling braver “I think a relative took it, you know, because of my resolution. Likely just a misguided attempt to help me along, but still.” I knew I had her.
“Oh, I'm sure it's not that bad. Probably just one of those dreadful cats of yours.” Old freaking bat. “Tell me if you figure it out dear,” she said after a pause. No. I couldn't let her escape. Not now. She was the only one I hadn't called. It was her. It had to be.
“I know it's you, mom,” I told her.
“It couldn't be me, dear. I've been baking all day,” I had had enough.
“Give me my food, or I'm calling the cops, mom. This is blatant theft.”
“Don't take that tone with me.” her voice had become decidedly more severe. “It's not my fault you're fat.”
At that, I hurled my phone against the wall. I didn't have a warranty, but I didn't care. I wouldn't just stand there and take that crap. In the end, I never did get my food back. But I swore then, that I would never make another New Year's Resolution as long as I lived.


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I may not update it much, and I certainly won't keep to a schedule. So nothing really to see here.