Vinyl Seats

It was the height of the Cape Town summer, sweltering, especially in the confines of the white 90’s VW bus special. Piles of bodies, to the point of absurdity, fighting for whatever breath was left in the stifling interior, were crammed in without discretion. A hodgepodge of browns, blacks, empty stomachs, full stomachs, aching backs, the required bags from a special day in town, all hoping for something greater, populate every square inch of interior.  Continue reading


Incult: coarse, uncultured (Merriam-Webster)

Whit and I decided, after much deliberation and head scratching, ideas offered and retracted in the same breath, on an investigative hike on Table Mountain as the center piece of our weekend, along with, of course, our customary celebration at the Armchair upon safe arrival in town. Nothing compliments an exhausting day in the African sun like a pint of Windhoek, a habit re-enforced after taking a particularly nasty fall bull-dogging down Lion’s Head on one of our countless outings. Taking my lead from Whit, who employed the dirtiest of tricks, questioning my manhood, poking fun at the chinks in my armor where fear and concern seeped through, prodded me into a speedy decent that quickly turned chaotic and uncontrollable. It wasn’t long after our arrival at the pub that I was able to laugh at the tumble with Whit, who had been taking the piss out of me since I came limping down the trail, bleeding and swearing loudly at the absurdity of the idea. What I really needed at the time, to nurse my bruised ego, and body, back to health, was the soft, feminine touch of the fairer sex, what I got in its stead was an ice-cold glass of fix it all. Continue reading

A Friend of Beethoven

I’m tired. It was a long walk today, longer than I was expecting, but my perpetual companions proffered a tired soul enough to make land. As of late, within the last couple of years, its hard to tell as my memory has begun to find uncertain purchase, and the difference in seasons is negligible here, one of the reasons I came west so long ago now, my body has begun to hurt and tire easily. Michael and David tell me its because I’m getting old, mocking my rickety, unsteady attempts at rising in the morning with calls of old man, old fart, and their favorite: worm food. That last one always make me laugh. They, in turn, have given up youthful aspirations; creases and deep set wrinkles, the marks of long years of laughter and sorrow, characterize once youthful faces. Friends, too caught up in the goings on of life, too distracted to notice the steady, rhythmic onslaught of old age are now deep within its clutches. We, moving in unison, shared youthful beauty, the respect and handsome accolades of middle age, and now the pity of those who navigate their way around our unsteady gait. All, except Anita, fight the ravages of time; she doesn’t look a day over 25, exactly as I met her so many years ago, baring an uncanny resemblance to my young wife. Maybe it is this recent sense, this recent awareness, that not an inconsiderable amount of time has passed in my life, and that the infinite well of vigor and vibrance of youth has begun to sputter and spurt. Continue reading

Polina’s Poetry

There exists a young woman that some would call beautiful. Who, some claim, passes through the world as though an apparition, affecting an unutterable feminine grace and sensuality, trailing an endless train of would be lovers and suitors. It is said to walk beside her is to see the thirsty eyes of all kinds haunt her every movement, compelling even the strongest into over indulgence, leaving many to question if beauty exists beyond rare moments of creation. The ambitions of men, never foreign to her, fall on deaf ears, easily rebuked with the wave of a delicate hand, a weary smile. Despite the praise of her physical virtues, a deep-seated dread, an overwhelming fear of loneliness, fills the deepest reaches of her heart. So strong is her sense of peculiarity, this sense of abnormality, that the young woman long ago chose to close her heart to the hope of ever stumbling across companionship. Continue reading

Lizzy Everett

It never fails. Its like he has a sixth sense. A spider sense, that makes the hair on the back of my dad’s neck stand on end whenever I’m holed up in my room trying to accomplish something. For whatever reason, the electricity that courses through him is compelling enough that he must climb the steep wooden stairs into our attic, rummage through our junk, and chase the ghost of Christmas Past through paper mache tree ornaments made at school, and old car parts. Here I am, trying to be the good girl, the good student, the good daughter with good grades, cuddled into the corner of my bed with my books and the occasional cat, but its impossible with him moving stuff around up there. Continue reading

The Introduction of a Casual Observer

Wedged into the middle seat of a transatlantic flight, 15 hours into a 35- hour journey, one recalls a conversation from hours earlier. The magic of the journey, and the buzz of the airport, long faded, has left only an uncomfortable piece of airline property, serially too small, and one’s mind, fatigued by the closeness of strangers, to grapple with all the journey represents. What began as a chance to witness the doings of man in new places with new names, employed by foreign people with foreign features, slowly and deliberately devolved into questions of One’s place in the universe.  Lost in the distant fray of a self-imposed, indulgent willful ignorance a rusted, squeaky door argument beats its drums of war. A Voice, the unrelenting burden of those who are forced to seek what lays beneath, disgusted and distraught at the natural inclination all have for the need to drink colorful liqueurs that drive home the point paradise must be near, drifts delicately to the fore.  One’s rhythm, swinging gladly between fanciful imaginigs of swashbuckling heroism and sun kissed bodies, is on the verge of taking a decidedly more serious turn. The steady onslaught of consciousness, at first a gentle lapping at the shores of paradise unkown, will in turn transform into a personal realism. A void or vacuum never materializing; rather, a gradual sense of truth bubbles to the surface offering a perspective unencumbered by fanciful over activity. In its place, the Voice, logical and slightly detached, offers a casual observation, points out that a plane flight alone does nothing to change a person; that, in fact, one must choose to change oneself.

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