My Mind

My Mind
This is my mind

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

It's OK, I promise

You know, I don't feel like writing a blooming thing. So I decided I won't. And a decision is a decision right? Write. Ok. It's Sunday. The weather is nice. Blue sky, cool breeze wafting Spanish moss along the old oak limbs. Don't hear any birds though. Nope. Not one. Interesting. No crickets either. Come to think of it no bug noises either. Odd. Oh well. Gosh, traffic has slowed down as well. Hmm, actually I haven't heard a car go by in quite some time. Unusual.
Sasha is lying along the section of books on the wall. Asleep as always. She's 9 this year and seems to have a bit of trouble with her movements unless of course you pull some Ben and Jerry's from the freezer. then she is right there under your feet. Wait. Was that a bird call? No, guess not. Anyway, she's getting up in age. Past me in dog years now. Gray muzzle and all. Still good company though.
I cooked some oatmeal today in the microwave. Gloppy mess supposed to be good for the old cholesterol levels. Have to wait to see at the next official physical. There it is that was a car I know. Let me just peak out this window here. Nope. Kinda quiet out there. Now, what was I saying? Oh yeah. Cholesterol. Well, before I became engaged I decided I was gonna eat whatever I wanted and when the time came for the big one then my arteries would clog up all at the same time and I'd drop immediately to the floor without the chance to think about anything. Then I became engaged and I became very health conscious because I wanted a long life to stretch out in front of me. Now Post-engagement I think the other diet plan is the right one. Much like the whole point is to die broke. Then your kids don't have to squabble over what you have left behind. We enter with nothing we go with nothing. Simple. Beats the taxman taboot.
Well, as I was...wait a minute. There's something outside. A shadow just fell across the window. Hold on while I go take a look. .....
There's something in the sky out there. Just sittin' like a stationary cloud but it's bright and metallic. Looks too heavy to be just sittin' there. Hold on while I call the cops....

Seems they've had several reports about this thing. Only it isn't just one. They're dotting the sky all over the county. I'm going to go out and take another look. They are very high up there and there are lots of them. Now there's a sound coming from the sky. A deep humming noise and the saucer-like, yeah, I said saucer-like, things are beginning to spin in two directions at once. The middle section is spinning counter-clockwise and the two outer sections, clockwise. The bottom has lights beginning to blink green then red. I came back in. It's unnerving. They just sat there for the longest time and now this movement. Sasha seems to be getting a little agitated now. Wait, she's just gotten up and cocked her ears toward the front door. I'll go check it to make sure it's locked. I'll let you know what's going on. ...
There was something out there in the hedge. Sasha started to bristle and bark so I let her out. She took off toward the spot and then dashed around the corner barking steadily. Abruptly the barking stopped and she doesn't respond to my calls. I stepped out to see but the air seems charged. What little hair I have stood out like Einstein's and crackled. Too weird. I came back in. Sasha seems to have disappeared. I think I better call the cops again. I'll get back to you.
Ha, Ha. Just ignore all the things I rote earlier. Nuthin too em. Tha burds is churppin and tha beees is hummmmin. Yu noe me i'm alwaas ritin stuph ta get a lefff. Dun yu wurry nun. Things is gunnu beee ok. Wunce yu let them in yur houss and let emm stik this wire in yur hed things is ok. Even Sasha is beddr. She kin talk now. En thet rite gurl?
Din say she spoke Inglish...
So if yu notis dark hevvy clowds over hed. Just open yur dors and welcom thim. They ar kwite frindly. 

More Rotten Tomato Soup

WE kids would enter through the side doors. A short gloomy hallway floor labored under the feet of dozens of small children making their way to class. To the right upon entering was a classroom. To the left was a double wide stairway of two levels leading to the second floor. Ignoring the stairway but turning to the left was another hallway the entire length of the school. In the middle of this passageway was the entry to the auditorium on the right. It served several functions. At noon it was the cafeteria. The bell would ring and we'd all pile out of our classrooms and line up for our turn to march into the lunchroom single file with our square plastic tokens ready to be redeemed for the lunch prepared for us by the ladies in the kitchen. Each token cost a dime. We were told to have it ready in our hands for the lady collecting them at the window separating the kitchen from the dining area.
We were given our tray of food in exchange and proceeded to the tables aligned in several rows. Their was an aisle down the middle of the auditorium separating the tables into two separate areas. On the tables were bottles of ketchup, mustard and on good days jars of peanut butter with spoons stuck into the middle of the honey-sweetened childhood delicacy.
We'd place our trays on the table, sit and commence "to eatin" with kid-jostling fun. Lots of talk about the things kids love. The boys talked about worms and tadpoles and tin cans tied to cat's tails, while the girls talked about their cooty talk. The teachers were constantly nearby to keep all this juvenile energy under control. If we were naughty we were removed from the table and, depending on the seriousness of the behavior, were sent accordingly to the appropriate place of punishment.
There were seats in the front half of this auditorium adjoined at the armrest facing a stage with old cranberry colored velvet curtains separating the backstage area from audience view. The chairs were dark cherry stained wood with fold down seats without cushions inappropriate for the squirming bottoms of restless children. We were sent to these chairs for minor infractions of dining etiquette. For the major faus pas it was a swift march out of the lunchroom into the afore mentioned Principal's office and the legendary paddle o' holes. ( A side note: I asked a fellow employee last night if they endured corporal punishment during their school days and could she describe the paddle uses. As expected she said she had no first hand knowledge of the paddle but had heard it was a thin plate of steel with holes drilled into it. Hmmmmmm.)
This auditorium was a Broadway theatre to us yokels as we grew to teenhood. The local theatre would put on plays for the children about every 3 months. At the beginning of the school year each child was given a chance to purchase "season tickets" which we took home to our parents with gleeful hope radiating from our little cherubic faces. I remember My folks were able to buy a season's pack for me one year. I remember 'Puss 'N Boots" and "Snow White and Rose Red' as two of those plays offered that year. I believe it was the Dock Street Players who provided this service to the local schools. It was a thrill for us sitting there awaiting the parting of the curtain. We'd buzz with anticipation staring at the heavy deep maroon drapes with the fringe at top sporting the letters RTS--Rotten Tomato Soup, we'd chant. The teachers were not as stringent during the plays because it was after school hours, and probably Saturdays, these plays were offered.
When those curtains finally began to part to the opposite corners after a heavy tap on the floor off stage the tempestuous frenzy died down as stage lights brightened and the players booming voices let fly the opening lines. All childhood energy froze into the fantasy world before us. The costumes were grand for wee eyes glued to the action. The story gathered momentum and we scrunched forward on our seats anticipating the next move and the curtain would close off the world to an explosion of kid-wonder. All the pent up energy would come out in boys fighting with imaginary swords. The girls would fuss with their dresses and try to talk to one another ignoring all the boys showing off. This pandemonium continued until the hard knocks sounded from backstage demanding attention before the next act could begin. It was amazing how quickly this room full of kids became quiet and still and breathless awaiting the action to begin again. It was grand to be alive. Simple entertainment. Live entertainment. Grand stuff for kids or adults.
When it was over the long walk home was full of remembering and reenacting. Swords and boots and capes of fabulous color upon a heroic figure that was me as I bounced back home fighting off villains.
I performed on this stage a couple of times myself but that will have to be another entry another time.
Riverland Terrace School. RTS. As kids it became Rotten Tomato Soup. We learned a lot in that old building. government training films were shown to us here. Duck and cover as protection against the nuclear blast that could come at any time. Open your windows and place the clothing you plan to wear next day on the back of a chair near the window to allow fresh air through the fibers. Science films about germs and such. There were others but they don't stick out in memory.
I was part of a spelling bee once. The teachers who recommended me were disappointed when near the end and almost there I was unable to spell "Kindergarden"
thought they gave me hints and three chances. I certainly felt stupid but I'll never forget how to spell that word now.
I believe that's enough memory lane for a while. I write most of this stuff thinking my kids would be interested but I don't think they are. Now I write them because I enjoy the memories. 

Children! BEHAVE!

The weather's turned cold again. The last blast before the warmth of spring and the heat of summer rush in on us back to back in April. Summer is the major season down here with its heat and humidity.
We used to fight back by spending time at the beach--Folly beach--on the sand and in the waves. The wind blowing in over the ocean kept us cool until we arrived back home and sported 1st degree burns over every area of skin except that covered with swim wear. Then the heat was a burden to bear inside as well as outside. This may be true but as children we only noticed it when we wanted sympathy or ice cream from the mobile vendor whose jingle perked our ears though he might have been a mile away.
"Please! We gotta have a nickel! The ice cream truck's coming!" And we'd get our nickel and run to the edge of the road waiting impatiently for that small white dot down the road to emerge at our feet as the Popsicle man on 4 wheels. When he stopped every kid from the local vicinity would beat feet to the sliding window. Inside was a man with a three day growth of beard and cigarette dangling from his mouth handing out ice creams and collecting nickels and dimes from chubby little fingers extended up to him. Smiling faces on tiptoe happy to start ripping into the paper surrounding the glorious chocolate covered ice cream on a stick. Happier still to shove that big cold treat into mouths filled with cavity prone teeth, but who cared. This was child heaven.
Every one of us would wander off to our respected front porches, climb into the swings, and slurp happily on melting ice cream bars. The swing would ease back and forth passing our little shirtless bodies through cooling breeze. That sticky oozing hot ice cream we were unable to eat before melting would run down our arms and faces and onto our shorts. Drips would accumulate on bare legs and dirty feet. Yup, a child's heaven.
When all we had was a stick and sticky bodies covered with dried rivulets of clotted milk and dirt we'd begin to swing in earnest. The swing would reach to the sky, or at least the ceiling with a loud bang. Usually at this point someone's mother would rush to the front door and warn us to swing a little less exuberantly. Who listens? Within minutes the ceiling bump would bring the parent once more on the scene with demands that we get out of the swing and go play in the yard. Once we went for a third bang on the ceiling but were stopped abruptly by the screws snapping from the ceiling of the porch and the swing sailing out over the rails and into the yard five feet below. That time it was the screams that brought the parent to the door. No one was hurt so we got no sympathy only an I-told-you-to-out-and-play-in-the-yard speech. Then, as we scattered, a frowning look as the parent viewed the damage and calculated the trouble and cost to fix it. Not a kid's worry though. We took off in all directions ready for the next adventure.
In the heat of summer we used to hike down the road, pails in hand, with our older relatives--cousins--to the local briar patch which just happened to be full of ripe, juicy blackberries. Our little mouths would be drenched in blackberry juice, our stomachs distended with those squishy berries and our pails filled to the brim. We'd walk back to the house excited about the blackberry pies in our immediate future or blackberries and cream the next evening. The days were long and leisurely with plenty of time for all the activities we could dream up and we did.
The garage at the side of our house had a slanting sheet of tar covered metal that made a 45 degree angle with the roof. "Don't be climbing up on the garage roof, now, you children." we heard this every day. As soon as we were out of sight we'd plant our little shoeless feet at the bottom of this steep incline, grab the side with our hands and ease our way up to the roof. With each trip up we'd carry a load of pine cones and deposit them behind the board at the front of the garage that came up 3 feet from the roof floor. We'd make several trips until we stock piled enough, then we'd shout out our challenge to any passing kid.
"Come on! We'll stand you off and beat you in a game of war!" would be our cry. "Beat us if you can!"
The challenge would be answered with a flurry of pine cones sailing up into our faces. Each one would be blocked by the trash can lids we held in our left hands as shields. We were knights of the round table defending the high ground from the black knight and his minion. Our cloud of cones would sail with the added strength of gravity--we were kids whatted we know?--right onto the top of the enemy's pointed heads and garbage can shields. Thunk! Thunk-thunk-thunk! Oww! Pine cones hurt with their pointed barbs and at times made contact with exposed skin. The battle would last until our pile was exhausted. We'd holler "Finished!" and make our way down to the ground to run off to the local mound of dirt to finish the battle in a game of King of the Hill.
Summer, here, was just as hot before air conditioning, but we never noticed it. The heat was just part of life. We escaped it any way we could. As kids we escaped through our imaginations into make believe lands and constant motion. It was our friend because it hailed the end of school for the months of June, July and August. We were free from "jail" to learn life's lessons on our own terms. We were happy and we showed it. 

A day in a life

The dynamite sticks were shoved into the loops along the leather belt attached to his body. A single wire ran from each stick to a central connection and from this connection ran the detonating wire along the man's arm to a device that rested in his hand. His thumb hovered over the button which would send the spark of electricity simultaneously into each nitro candle.
"You have your instructions. Remember at the moment of detonation Allah will welcome you into Paradise. I wish it were me," said Ahkmed checking the wire connections.
Mohmar, through profuse sweat, smiled. He was 16. His father had been killed in a riot in Jerusalem two years past. His mother had received shrapnel to her back severing her spinal cord in a separate confrontation of Palestinian and Israeli soldiers.
"It will be a huge explosion, won't it?" he said. His voice quavered.
"Stand up! Strengthen yourself! It is Allah's work you do. He smiles on you. Your life here is nothing but misery inflicted by Israeli dogs. I would be honored to do this but I have important business for our brother Palestinians. You were chosen when you volunteered."
"Will my brother be there to greet me?" Mohmar's brother had been shot in last week's raid on the Israeli camp.
"Of course he will. He died for his brothers. Paradise was immediately his. All right. Here is your jacket. It covers the bomb nicely. You'll just walk into the market at noon and yell Allah be praised, then push the red button with your thumb. You will kill many. That bomb should take out two city blocks."
Today, I have to mow the grass. Then I have to clean the yard. My dad wants me to wash his car. Shit! Why does this always happen to me when I want to go to the mall.
There. My FB entry for this morning. It's so comforting to be able to pound out my anger in this site.

Mohmar walked with his head held high into the street. It was 11:30. Ahkmed walked with him to the corner then turned in the opposite direction. He picked up his pace. When Mohmar turned for encouragement his mentor was nowhere to be seen. He slowed his steps. Twelve o'clock was fast approaching. I've been in this world sixteen years and all that time lead to this moment. I will do something of great importance here. As he walked he looked into the pram beside the street lamp. The baby looked into his face and cooed a laughing gurgle.
Let's see I have to go to the market to get everything for the dinner tonight. My husband's boss likes his vegetables crisp and plenty of them. This promotion could mean doubled salary, so it has to be perfect. So have to leave you now FB to shop.

The baby's smile brought tears to Mohmar's eyes. He'd had a baby brother but at six months he'd died of fever. The market was in sight now.

Why, oh why, can't I find anything on this TV? 150 channels and nothing to see. I'll just check FB.


LIfe was hard here for his people. He looked at the Coke machine as he passed. His throat was parched. "Damn Americans. Always helping the people in power and never giving us a thought except to take our money in these machines." He stopped and kicked a dent in the machine.

My girlfriend dumped me today. After 2 years she dumped me. What the hell happened? She saw someone else she wanted more that's what. He makes a salary twice mine and drives a Porsche. And we were so much in love. What happened FB?


The market was bustling today. All the stalls were filled with buyers chucking money into the vendors' hands. Arguments sounded in all corners as each tried to get the best value from the other.
Mohmar looked at the clock on the shelf next to him. "Want a nice clock, boy?' asked the seller.
"No." he said. The clock read 11:50. "Is the time right on this clock?'
"Yes, of course it is. It keeps very good time. I'll give it to you for a good price."
"I don't need your clock."


Dammit I was up til 3 this morning. I just couldn't sleep. I have that big test in 2 days and can't seem to understand any of it. What the hell do I care about parsecs and tachyons? I'll just go on line and write up another entry.


11:55. Sweat matted his clothing. Five more minutes. What does one do for five minutes when he knows they are his last? Mohmar wiped his hands on his jacket and tensed his thumb over the button.


Donna and I are going to the movie. It's the one they've been advertising for a month now on TV. Oh, you know. With, uh, hmmmm.. I can't remember now but it ought to be good. I'll check TV That ad's been running every half hour lately.
News is on. Some kid just blew himself up in a Jerusalem market. 300 people killed. How awful.
Oh here it is. At the bijou. Tell you all about it when we get back, FB.

Rotten Tomato Soup

Monday morning. It was cool out. Autumn is near. It was so clear when I was a child. School's opening welcomed in the cool fall days. We walked to school with our books enclosed in a satchel we carried on our backs. It was olive green with loops we put our arms through. Old army surplus?
We walked alone or in groups. The cool air frosted our breath and we would pretend we were grownups smoking cigarettes. Some of us carried the candy cigarettes to make the illusion more real. A pack of Lucky Sticks, or whatever, that were always quickly chewed up and swallowed. We wanted to be grown up but we wanted the candy more.
The golf course was between me and RTS--Riverland Terrace School. It was the grammar school in our neighborhood. A two story brick building symmetrically laid out.
The front door was a double door entrance. The outward frame painted white and the inner frame painted a sickly pale green. Army surplus paint? Entering through this portal one stepped onto a wooden floor well worn over the years. It had to have been pine flooring that had not seen wax nor stain since first laid. Well worn by the traffic of childrens' feet.
We never went in through that door because the Principal's offce was immediately to the left. There were stories about the kids who passed through those doors. The trouble makers who received a righteous paddling with the special board which hung on the wall. I never saw it but it was described as a flat board with a handle at one end. The business end contained several holes drilled through it. These holes were to increase the punishment. Blisters were the result. Very uncomfortable I was told. I never knew anyone who developed sitting problems from blisters. A lot of my friends closed that door behind them after entering. They often had tears in their eyes upon leaving but seemed to be able to sit fairly comfortably afterwards. I think that board was the first urban legend I ever heard.
We kids always entered by the side doors recessed beneath a sheltering alcove. There were steps impressed into the wall which jutted out at each end of the front face. On the opposite side of those steps was a short wall we used to sit on while waiting for the bell for us to enter class. It was our congregating area to chat and play. The wall of the building had two rows of bricks that jutted out about two inches beyond the wall facing. These extended bricks were positioned at just the right distance for us to grip with our hands and at the same time position our splayed feet atop the bottom row. We gripped the row at about eye level and shifted our feet backward or forward to scale the wall horizontally. It was our adventure to see who could "walk" along the face of the school building until our fingers could no longer grip and our feet would finally slide off. We were mountain climbers in our imagination. Climbing around the corners of the building was the greatest challenge. We were kids with a lot of energy.
Some of us entered the classrooms by the fire escape. A long lean iron stairway which seemed to have no support clamped into the wall like it was. There were 3 thin iron slats to each step which should have had 5 slats because each was separated by open space. We were told not to look down. We always looked down immediately and, in doing so, rushed to the wall side to cling to brick spaces as we inched upward. It was a long stairway. It was a climb of fear for a child made dizzy by height. That was not my favorite entrance, needless to say.
There was a baseball diamond ten steps to the right of the school enclosed in the school ground. Telephone poles formed a " C" around home plate. Fencing wire was attached to the poles to stop any missed pitch. There was a short brick wall directly behind this extra high fence. It was just tall enough for kids to sit so their feet touched the ground. We'd run along the top of this wall playing chase and tag while the bigger boys would be hitting pop flies to their friends in the outfield. The more adventurous smaller kids would climb the wire attached to the telephone poles until the teacher monitor would stop them calling for them to get themselves down from there now.
There were sidewalks and pavement all around for those who received skates for Christmas. Skates were very sought after for Christmas. Most of us only recieved one large present for this biggest of holidays. We'd talk about what we wanted from the time school started until the night before the big day. If we were lucky enough to receive them we'd meet at the school in the afternoon and skate until the sole of our shoe tore away from the upper portion. There we'd stand with our skate dangling away from our foot tightly attached to the sole by means of clamps. Such a tear meant a spanking and no skates for a long time. It also meant a new pair of shoes had to be bought with money my parents did not have. The punishment was short lived and buying shoes was an adventure.
Usually a pair of shoes lasted a year or more unless this foot had a growth spurt which would require early shopping. The stores were all the same. Huge plate windows in the front which never allowed enough light in to see properly. Overhead lights consisted of bulbs hanging with about 50 watts glowing down. The salesman would take our shoes off. Looking at the dangling sole and shaking his head, he'd place the socked foot onto his measuring device and slide the little metal pieces along the line placing it snuggly agains the side and toe. Once he had the size he'd retrieve the shoe and place it on the foot. Then he'd have me jump out of my chair and climb onto the x-ray machine. Place your foot under here he'd say and I'd slide my foot into the small cave below. Now, look in here, he'd say and I'd look into the view scope at my eye level and, lo and behold, there were the bones in my foot in fluorescent green enclosed in the outline of a new shoe. There you go, he'd say, you can see this is a good fit with room to grow. I never listened being too fascinated with the bones I was wiggling under x-ray. That was a fad that soon faded. Something about cancer I think.
Of course it is that foot that now gives me trouble when I stand for a long time. Think I have a case?
This morning's air reminded me of these things. Last weeks' tragedy made me long for simpler times. Time marches ever forward, never backward. Thank you for memories

Kyndall long ago

I feel dull this morning. Sasha acts dull witted this morning. She had to stay with the vet all yesterday afternoon and received vaccines which I think have caused her to be thickheaded. She seems to wander about in a daze. It seems to be contagious.

I've tried to bring back the memories of Kyndall as a child, but the only one to stand out is the day I picked her up after daycare. I went in and she was busy as usual. She has always thrown herself into whatever activity absorbs her and she was no different then. She has always been full of energy. She finally came over with a grin on her face and excitement in her eyes. I took her by the hand and we walked out to the car.

I buckled her into her car seat then cranked the car. We were riding along on that fine spring day when I saw wild yellow daisies with brown eye centers waving in the breeze caused by the cars zooming along the highway. They grew in clusters lining the shoulder.

"Kyndall, you want to let's stop and pick flowers?"

Always ready for something to do, she responded, "Yeh, let's pick flowers!"

I pulled the car off the highway onto the shoulder and got out. I opened her door. She had already unbuckled her belt and was climbing out.

"Please be careful now. Those cars are zooming past. I don't want you to get hurt so stay away from the edge of the road, OK?"

"OK." She commenced picking flowers by the handfuls. We walked along the edge gathering large quantities of wildflowers. We both looked up to see how many the other had and decided at the same time it was enough.

Our bouquets combined and placed in the rear seat, we gathered ourselves back into the car to finish our journey home. However, we made one more stop at a local seafood shop and bought several pounds of shrimp. These we carried back the to house for dinner.

The flowers we put into vases on the table. Then we pulled out all manner of pots and pans. I loaded the shrimp into the colander to rinse them after placing a large pot full of water on the stove to heat. While waiting for the water to boil I searched for the crab boil to throw into the pot.

Kyndall, active as ever, was bouncing up and down on a rocking horse we had gotten her earlier in the year. She never sat in the saddle. She held onto the handgrips and stood in the saddle bouncing as vigorously as possible creating loud squeaking noises and a huge grin on her face.

She'd jump from the horse to the couch head over end to come to a standstill looking at the world upside down. Standing on her head was a favorite pastime. the world must have been cock-eyed even back then to her young mind.

"OK, I'm ready to boil the shrimp," I said while pouring the gray slabs into the boiling water. "Watch them turn pink." I lifted her up near the pot full of churning water.

"Once they turn they're ready to eat. We'll have to wait though for them to cool a bit. Why don't you set the table while I get them ready."

"OK, daddy."

She scurried about grabbing plates and napkins and forks and spoons. She put the dining utensils on the yellow table my dad had made for us. "Candles. We need candles," she said.

"All right. They should be in the drawer there."

I mixed a sauce for the shrimp and handed that to her. She carried it to the table setting it in the center. I began to scoop the shrimp out into a large communal bowl.
Once it was full I carried the steaming shrimps to the table leaving behind a powerful trail of the exotic aroma of all the spices and such contained in the seasoning added to the water.

"Oooh, That smells good, daddy."

"Yeh it does, doesn't it?"

Just as we finished loading everything onto the table the front door opened.

"Mommy!" Kyndall yelled running to her.

She bent down to give her a hug. Then dropped her things in the chair by the door.

"Look Mommy! We picked you flowers! And we cooked dinner!"

"Wow, you have been busy, haven't you? It smells good. And you did this by yourselves?"

"Yes! Daddy and I picked flowers by the roadside and then came home and cooked shrimp. do you like it?"

"Oh yes. It's such a nice surprise."

"I knew you'd like it. Thanks daddy."

We sat and we ate and time passed on and I swear it's true as memory serves give or take a lie or two. Very mundane but priceless. 

A tale of Friday the 13th

Friday the thirteenth. We used to think it was a day of bad luck. Some stayed in bed so as not to tempt the fates. My dad's birthday was the 13th and every 6 years it fell on a Friday. He used to comment that the day would probably be a double whammy for him. I don't remember any such.
We used to be careful of black cats crossing the road on Friday the thriteenth or broken mirrors or ladders leaning against walls along the sidewalk. Weird how we fall into superstitious nonsense. Oh gees, I just knocked over the salt shaker. Need to toss a bit over my shoulder here. Pardon me for a sec. There you....oooh...pulled a muscle in my back.
I'll get back to this in a minute. This back pain requires some advil.

I'm typing with one finger now. Remember when I went for advil? Well, I was out of it and had to drive to the store to buy some. Got there, got in line with the bottle, pulled out my wallet and had no money. In frustration I got out of line and walked out to my car. As I was getting in my car the cop who stands inside the store to thwart would be robbers came running out of the door waving his gun yelling freeze! I looked behind me to see who he was addressing and at that moment he reached me and slammed me into my car yelling spread 'em.
"What's going on officer?" I asked.
"Shut up and keep still."
He frisked me and pulled the bottle of advil out of my pocket.
"Gees, I'm sorry officer. I didn't realize I'd kept that bottle. I was going home to get the money to pay for it. I thought I'd left it on the counter."
"Tell 'em down town. I'm sending you to the station to explain this one."
"Wait. Can't we settle this now? Surely someone inside knows me and can vouch for me."
Sorry, buddy. You lifted the bottle and you gotta deal with the consequences. The governor has been specific on this matter and we have to uphold the law to the letter this month. Elections you know."
So I was loaded into the back seat of a patrol car--they really do put their hands on the top of your head to push it down so you don't bump it on the roof--and taken to the station. That's where they took off the hand cuffs. The right one had been too tight and left what will probably be a scar for life. I was pushed into a room and told to extend my hands. They inked my fingertips and rolled my prints into the squares labeled for each finger--thumb, index, etc. I was given a rag to wipe the ink off but not before I'd smeared the black stuff on my new pair of pants, now ruined for good.
"Come on, buddy, into this room."
It was a stark and bare room with a naked light bulb hanging from a single electrical cord in the center. Under it was a square table that had seen better days. On one side was a chair into which I was shoved and told to wait there. On the other side was two chairs, I figured for the proverbial good cop bad cop scenario. A small table sat over in one dark corner piled with various indistinguishable things presumably for frightening hardened criminals into quick confessions so the wheels of justice could move along smoothly. Visions of rubber hoses and red piss danced through my mind.
I began to sweat a bit as the time slowly ticked on. There was a clock on the wall behind me. The minute hand jumped one minute each time the second hand swept passed 12. Opposite this wall was a full view mirror which stretched from one side to the other. I saw myself in a sweat soaked shirt and wrinkled brow staring back at me. It seemed as if eyes were on me that I could not see. Just jumpy I thought to myself. Who wouldn't be?
Finally a key rattled in the door and it opened admitting two men in shirt sleeves, ties askew. The first one had a smile on his face that registered mirth. The second one, a smile of cruelty. My shirt took on a heavier load of sweat as they sat across from me still smiling in silence.
"Hello, buddy. How you feeling?" Said mustache face of the mirthless grin.
"Uh, OK, I guess. This is all a mistake and..."
" Shut it! We'll decide all that. Now, whatcha doin' walking outta the store with unpurchased goods, huh? Advil, was it? Thought you had a headache then, huh, pal?"
"Well, you see..."
"What we see is a perp who lifted an item off the shelf and promptly walked out with it. We call them shoplifters. But let's call a spade a spade right now and tell you point blank that that makes you a THIEF! Know what we do to thieves? We lock 'em up and enjoy doing it."
At that moment I seemed to jump forward in a vision--I was standing in a room with multi shower heads pouring out the heated water which sent steam clouds throughout the room. There were several of us, each with a bar of soap washing off the dirt from the "yard" when all of a sudden my soap leapt from my hand and landed on the wet tiled floor. My automatic reaction was to bend over to pick it up.
"Don't bend over in the shower!!' came a shout. And all at once....

"What's the matter with you, fella. You listening to us?" It was the clean-shaven one speaking now.
"Yeah. I'm listening." I shifted in my chair to relieve the pressure on my hemorrhoid.
"You were caught red-handed. Bottle of advil and no receipt of purchase. We got you cold, buddy. Whatcha got to say?'
"It was a mistake. I didn't mean to take it with me. I was going home to get the money to pay for it. I just forgot to put it down. It could happen to anybody."
"You know you look kinda familiar. There's been a lot of Advil lifted lately. You maybe involved in some kinda scam?"
"Don't be ridiculous. What kind of idiot would try to make money off stolen Advil?"
"Oh, I don't know," said mustache as he meandered over to the small table in the dark corner. He picked up a tubular thing in his right hand and began to pound it into the palm of his left hand. Slowly he came into the light of the 50 watt bulb. I noticed his shoe lace was untied at the same time he tripped over it. He slammed his head into the corner of the table and fell to the floor like a sack of potatoes.
"What did you do to him?" mustacheless cried out. "You're going to do a lot of time. I'll see to it."
He knelt by his partner placing his fingertips at his throat. At the same moment the door burst open and two uniformed officers came in guns drawn and aimed at me still sitting in my chair.
"Is he all right?" one of them asked.
"Yeah. He's got a pulse."
"We saw the whole thing. You're in a lot o' trouble, boy. You'll do real time for trying to kill a police.”
"Wait a minute. I didn't do anything. I've just been sitting here. This man can tell you that. Tell them."
He just looked at me and smiled. "Gottcha now, boy. You're in deep and you won't be out of prison for a long, long time. Hold out your hands."
As he cuffed me I saw that the fingerprinting ink had spread. My skin seemed to have taken on a darker hue than the pale skin of my forebears. I looked up into the mirror on the far wall and saw a black man staring back at me. Astonished I started to cry out...
"Shut up! Get him out of my sight before I hurt him bad!"
The officer shoved me out into the hall and pushed me toward the back where the jail cells awaited criminals.
"I...I....I....What's happening?" I shouted.

Wha... Someone outside just shouted. Whoa...I have to stop falling asleep at this keyboard.
Happy 13th all. Now where did I put that Advil? Is that a police siren outside my window? Did they say give it up the place is surrounded? Is that the front door splintering open? What the...