Saturday, June 25, 2005

Paul Winning a Free Game at Tony's

This is a foto of Paul Chelstad winning a free game at Tony's Pizza and Pub. The Pub is now called Red's but Tony's Pizza is still there. Always ask for the braided crust.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Place of Sense

When you live somewhere for a long time
you become familiar with the smells.
The smoke from the factories.
The ammonia from the fertilizer plant.
The slaughter house smells of blood and bone.
The garlic frying in woks.
And the smells become familiar with your nose.

You get use to the sounds.
The honking of horns and the squealing of tires.
The siren of cops and the silence of robbers.
The helicoptors overhead.
The crying and the laughing.
The music from the cars.
And the sounds are comfortable with your ears.

But most of all you recognize the others.
You walk by them sometimes.
Sometimes they walk by you.
You can tell who is awake.
You can sense the angry ones.
You notice the sadness of some.
Some of them never talk.
Some of them just drift.
You can see who is full of love.
You can see who is dripping with hate.
But all of them are alive.
And they can remember you.

I know that there are times,
when you see someone on the sidewalk.
They are just walking by.
You nod your head.
And they nod theirs.
But they are not like the others.
But they are like the others.
It is always hard to tell.
You never really can tell.
But they are there.
Right there on the sidewalk.

Let me make this a little clearer.
It has something to to do with
the sense of place.
The place of sense.
And the spirit in you.
And the spirits outside of you.
You get familiar with the place
and the place gets familiar with you.

And that is the thing
that I needed to say.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Map of the Old Neighborhood


This is a map that we made of all the fruit trees in the neighborhood. We made it almost fifty years ago so it is a little faded. We made it so we could plan evening fruit stealing expeditions. The cops only chased us a few times. The red dots are apple trees. The yellow ones are pear trees. The purple ones are mulberry trees. The two little circles are where two cherry trees were. There is a grocery store there now. I use to sell newspaper subscriptions there until a few months ago. Then I moved to another place. I liked working there. The money was pretty good and I got to see a lot of people that I knew. But I still think about those cherry trees.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Only A Few Minutes, Just A Few Words

See, I had been sleeping pretty deep.
Then I get sucked into this dream.

Wait. Let me start about six months earlier.
My old friend John was back in town for a few days.
He had remarried.
He introduced us.
We talked for a few minutes.
Just a few words.

She was one of those people,
that you are sure that you have known for a long time.
A very long time.
Big liquid eyes.
The face of a saint.
The three of us only talked for a few minutes.
Just a few words.

I was in my car.
They were on the sidewalk.
Only a few minutes.
Just a few words.

Things like " Hey John!"
"I want to introduce my wife to you"
"Still living in New Mexico"
"Gotta go now"
Only a few minutes.
Just a few words.

Like I said before,
I had been sleeping pretty deep.
Then I get sucked into this dream.

In this dream I am at Walgreens.
In the check-out line.
Paying for some double print fotos.
Probably fotos of some party.
I don't know.

This woman walks by me.
I can only see her back.
But she seems familiar to me.
Maybe the hair.
But I am watching her.
When she gets to the door,
she turns around and smiles.
Then she says to me,
"I just wanted to say goodbye"
And she walked thru the door.
And she was gone.

Only a few minutes.
Just a few words.

Then I hear my alarm clock.
The one that I bought at Walgreens.
The six inch tall one.
The one with the yellow smiley face.
The loud one.
The one that finally died that morning.

So, while I was reading the morning paper.
Maybe two hours after my dream.
Maybe two hours after my Walgreens
yellow smiley faced alarm clock,
alarmed me for the last time.
I saw the face of John's wife looking at me from the obits.
She had died at home.
She had died peacefully.
She had died with her family there.
She had been sick with cancer for a year.
They had tried everything.
But in the end,
she had to move on.

Only a few minutes.
Just a few words.

So a few days later I called John.
I told him about the dream.
He said that she had just wanted to say goodbye.
It was her way.

Only a few minutes.
Just a few words.