Thursday, June 26, 2014

Naked Pictures

John got the first one on the train. It was his wife. She was naked and worse she was spread eagle in a bed. He looked around quickly and held his phone close to his face. The next day two more appeared. In both his wife was completely nude and doing very provocative things. John tried to follow the link but it went nowhere. He said nothing.
  The following week he received five then ten then twenty photos. His wife was very young in the naked pictures and looked great. He hired a private detective to find out where the photos were coming from. Two days later he called. sitting down.
Yeah...well. Your wife is sending these to you.
My wife?
Thank you...thank you very much.
That night at dinner his wife was quiet as usual. They had been married thirty years and had quit talking a long time ago. John cleared his throat.
I got some pictures in my phone
Oh really she said not looking up.
Yes...they were naked photos.
Marcie looked up then.
How did they look?
John nodded.
I didn't know you...ah...did that sort of thing.
Marcie stared at her husband. They never had sex anymore. He slept many times in the guest bedroom.
I was a stripper before I met you.
John opened his mouth.
Yeah...can you believe it.
Marcie shook her head and picked up her I PAD.
I actually had a life then.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Gone Son

Where is he?
Brittany jumped up from her pillow. Jason opened his eyes.
Isn't he here?
No! She screamed.
Jason was out of the bed. He ran to the garage.
Is he there?
Where are you going? She shouted.
Jason ran to the basement and saw the empty sleeping bag.
I'm going to that stoner he hangs out with he screamed grabbing his keys.
He never does this Brittany screamed.
I know I know he shouted.
Jason drove like a maniac. He went by all his stoner buddies houses. He saw his car parked in a Visitor Parking spot. He dialed his cellphone
I found his car!
Is he there? Is he there?'s locked!
Oh God Oh God Oh God
Maybe we should call the police.
I cant--
I'll go by McDonald's he shouted.
Jason talked to his boss. No one had seen his son. He was  just gone. He was murdered. He was dead. He had vanished. He had become one of those people on posters. HAVE YOU SEEN?
Jason felt like he was looking into a dark hole. No he was falling off a cliff. His cellphone rang.
Have you seen him? Brittany shouted.
Oh he's dead I know it!
Calm down...hes not dead....
But Jason didn't believe it. He would be forever changed from this point on. He thought he might throw up He thought he might die. He drove in frantic circles around one neighborhood after another. Julie called him again.
We have to call the police he shouted
I just did. They have no record of him she screamed.
My God....My God.
His phone beeped.
It was his son.
I left you a text...
His cellphone rang on the other line.
I found him he screamed
His wife started crying like she was going to die.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Mason Jars of Pot

He knew the car was a bust. The broken tail light. Teenagers. Two AM. And he pulled out in front of him. Stupid. So they hit the lights.
See your license please?
The kid was jumping out of his skin.
This is your credit card.
Jim took the license and ran it. No priors. But there was pot in these parts. He knew it.
We'd like to search the car.
The highschooler stared at him.
We have probably cause you have been out after curfew.
That got them. He went through the van reeking of cigarettes.
Can you open the trunk?
Bingo. The backpack. Jim unzipped the top and felt the mason jar. He pulled out the jar full of pot.
This yours?
The high school kid mumbled and nodded.
Wait here.
The call to the parents. The kid going home in moms care with two tickets. Jim dropped off the pot at the end of the night. Juvenile. Misdemeanor. His wife was up when he went in the bedroom.
She stared at him and got up and came back from the bathroom.
He stared at the mason jar of pot.
Where do you think he got this?
I don't know.
Jim took the jar from her and promised to talk to Jim Jr. when he got off his shift at McDonalds.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Doing the Cliff Dwellers

Up among the cliffs are the dwellers. Birds from another time who haunt the top of Chicago's skyscrapers. They have been there since 1907. And while the world below rolls into digital insanity the Cliff Dwellers discuss books. An amazing event in the year of our Lord 2014. But they swoop down and have gathered up authors from Booth Tarkington to Studs Terkel to William Hazelgrove. I have done the Cliff Dwellers before and you don't forget it.

You look out from the top of 200 Michigan and you are outside. No one is worried about writers throwing themselves off roof tops here. No for once the writer is held up and you see them on the wall in the black and white photos going all the way back to the early twentieth century. And then you settle down and talk about your book for two hours. And they ask the hard questions and it is a real surprise to bump into thinking people who want to  know more about your and your work.

And the lunch leads to more conversation and you have a glimpse of a different sensibility. Something beyond the social media maelstrom that consumes authors and publishing today. Maybe a more measured time...I don't really know.  But you are glad you went.

Monday, June 2, 2014


This wont last.
That was his thought when he saw the couple with the stroller going by his old home. He had come back for a graduation party and he was waiting for the graduate to arrive with his parents. John was early and sat on the porch looking across the street at his old home trying to remember what it was like then. His own son had graduated the week before.
And then he saw the couple walking slowly down the sidewalk. He saw them  taking small steps and looking around like someone might come up and steal their baby. And he remembered doing that. He remembered coming home from the hospital with their son eighteen years before and walking around the block. And he didn't know where those eighteen years went. He had no idea.
He left the porch and walked over to the couple who stopped and stared at him.
Listen I just had to tell you I did this too.
They continued to stare at him.
I mean eighteen years ago we did the same thing. My wife and I. We came home from the hospital and took our son in his stroller around the block.
The young couple stared at John who was sweating. The woman was standing over her baby and the man had moved in front of her.
What do you want?  The man demanded fiercely.
John stared at the man and the woman bent over her child.
Well...nothing. I just wanted to tell you it doesn't last. I mean you think it will right now but suddenly you blink and eighteen years have gone by.
The man squinted at him.
Get away or I'm calling the cops.
John gestured with his arms wildy.'t you understand. I am doing you a favor. THIS DOESNT LAST. think it will go on forever. But it doesn' just...ends.
The man and the woman started walking again .
Stay away from us the man shouted back. You're nuts.
John stood on the sidewalk and stared after them.
He would never survive his son growing up.