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Stay Gold 

I’ve always loved the movie, ‘The Outsiders’. To many, it was the classic “don’t judge a book by it’s cover story”.

To me? It was a tale of bravery. Bravery in the face of numerous adversaries. Be it social status. The haves and the have nots. Or be it one of the few versus the many. How about doing what’s right to protect a friend?

All of these things I loved. I tried my best to leave a little snail trail of my bravery in everything I’ve done while on this planet.
Some would say that’s just being a decent human being. Others would chime in on religious points. Buddha this. Jesus that.

Not to knock Jesus. He is awesome. A real Kung Fu man. I mean walking through multitudes of people without being touched? That’s Kwai Cain Chain style plus a thousand.

Where was I again? Sorry, I get a little discombobulated at times. Too many video games is what my mom always said. I’m more of the opinion that I don’t want to miss anything. I try to soak all of life in, and I try to give it all back when tapped.

Okay, back on track.

Wanting to leave a trail of bravery smattered throughout my life’s footsteps. Standing up for the quote, unquote, nerd. Or backing up a fellow co worker when things are going south, and it ain’t their fault.

I’m guessing you’ve got the point.
Which leads us to the current situation yours truly is in.

There’s a whole lot of blood around, and I’m not sure whose it is. I think I’m loosing consciousness. But the veracity of blows to my body keep waking me up.

I’d like to point out at this time that the soundtrack you hear on television or in the movies when people are fighting isn’t accurate. It’s more of a report from like those big fireworks rockets. They sail high into the sky, explode into a maelstrom of fiery flutters and then the BOOM happens. This is how I feel. I’m getting lit up like our local high school football stadium on the Fourth of July.

I hate fireworks by the way.

So this beating is doubly worse.

Let me rewinds a bit and catch you up on the details that has lead me here to this spectacular butt whooping.

An hour ago, my best friend, Archibald, accepted a meet and greet over the Internet. He’s the prototypical nerd. Small wiry frame. Glasses. Not hideous by any means, just average. Blatantly average at best. He’s always had a hard time with the ladies. Just wasn’t in his skill set. Not his fault, I might add. His father type figures in his life have always gave him crap because of his non athletic interests, and his mom was more interested in making sure this dad or that dad would stay and take care of them.

Sucks, you know?

But I love this guy. He’s always there for me and has never wanted anything from me. That’s soo refreshing when everyone else around you is more interested in what I can give them, rather then just enjoying time with me. And that’s what me and the Arches, ( that’s what I call him, Arches. And when he’s good, or when he cracks one of his dry jokes that crack me the hell up, he’s the Golden Arches.), like to do.
Back on track, and The Golden Arches was about to meet a girl from the interwebs and I WOULD NOT let him fly solo.

“Stay Gold Ponyboy.”

I’m sorry, I think I passed out again. Where was I?

Blood! More blood.

I feel cold. This can’t be good. Hang on Tag. (That’s me. Tag. My dad always wanted a Tag Heuer watch. But mom gave him me instead. Nice huh?). Hang on Tag. The beatings have stopped. But I feel cold.

My side burns.
Blood.

Focus Tag. Damn it Tag. Focus up!!!

Where was I?

Arches date.

Fake. Many guys met us at the fountain. No girl. Just rich, lazy eyed boys. I say boys, because men don’t do crap like this. They set up a phony online profile to trap an innocent nerd. To trap an Arches.
My Arches.

These lazy eyed, out for the next thrill, predators where on the hunt.
Not. My. Arches. Not tonight.

They start the cat calling at him, “Pretty Archie. Is that you?”.

He turns to me. He’s scared. I see it.

“Nope. Archie’s me chicken legs!”, I bellow.

Bear mode activated.

Time to use my size, but most importantly, my wits to charm this situation to a halt. DEFCON 1 needs to be brought back up to DEFCON 5. “Where’s Lula? Her profile didn’t say anything about multiple inbred brothers?”.
“Lula’s not here. She’s bait to catch online pervs! We dispense-”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah….”, I cut them off. I hate monologuing. Especially from lazy eyed, inbred, hate mongers. “Cut to the chase. You want some fun? You want to pummel a wiry geeky kid? Well it ain’t him. That profile is mine!”.

Arches swung his head back at me in disbelief. He could feel what I was doing.

Wait!

I feel a hole. Tag there’s a hole in your side!
A holeTag! A flipping hole!

Focus up Tag! Where were we?
Oh yes.

“You boys are the weak!, I yell as a memory sears into the front of brain. How happy my Arches was when he thought he’d found someone who shared all the same quirks and passions he did. He flipping smiled. A smile like I’d hadn’t seen since he’d been accepted into online beta testing for his favorite online game.

He was happy.
And now? He was deathly scared.

WAIT!! Am I swimming? I feel wet. Submerged. I think I’m in the fountain.

GET IT HAPPENING TAG!!! MOVE!!!

Everything’s blurry. Ultimate fish eye lens going on. I see lights. Probably from the street lights above. A figure moves in front of the lights. Arches?!?
NO! No no NO!! Tunnel vision, and I’m taking in water!!! Where’s ARCHES!??

Fading to black.

Lungs aching, and lurching.

Lights out campers.

 

“Stay Gold Ponyboy.”.

 

Smells like Fruity Pebble cereal. Absolutely love that scent. But why now?

Am I dead?

Everything here is bright. Like the glow from an arc welders spark. You know the kind of bright that you need a dark visor so as not to fry your eyeballs. But that’s just it. It first hurt to look at it. So bright, but so soft. Like cotton balls for your eyes.

Hard to describe. Very familiar like my grandma’s house, yet a thousand percent more grand. I can hear voices, but not regular voices. More like voices carried on bell chimes. I guess this is what I think elves sing like if they were any elves.

Arches would not believe this place.

Wait! Where is Arches?

I feel like I should panic, but this place doesn’t have the panic channel. Almost like it doesn’t fit. Panic, worry, and fear don’t work here.

DUDE!

Am I in heaven? Have to be. I do not see anything remotely close to a heavy metal album cover, or anything sulfuric.

I see someone approaching. Or it could be I’m approaching him. I can’t tell. Nothing here makes sense.
This person is very kind. I can’t help but feel that. Wait, not kindness. Love. That’s it. This person is Love. Can’t ignore it, in your face, full on Love. It’s got to be Jesus. But He doesn’t look like Jesus that I’ve always seen growing. You know, hippie type, European Jesus. With the long hair and the cool robes. Nope. Not Him. He’s like everyone I love the most into one marvelous being. Mom and Dad. Grandma and Gramps. Uncle Roger with the bent nose. Arches. They’re all there.

Wait Arches!

Jesus looks to me and motions and everything around me that was once bright, billowy, and serene is now dark, and damp. He’s taking me back to the fountain. I see me there. Lifeless in the fountain while Arches is pulling me out.

Oh no. Arches has deal with me dying in front of him.

“Damn it.”, I whisper.

Oh wait. I mean dang. Shouldn’t swear in front of JC. Not cool. Jesus just looks at me with a smirk look that my dad has given me a thousand times when I just don’t get it.

He motions me back to the scene unfolding.

Paramedics have arrived and are doing the Grey’s Anatomy special on me. Actually pretty impressive if I might add.

I look back to Jesus to see if I’ll get any explanations as to what the heck is going on. He brings me close to Him and touches my chest. It’s searing me. But there’s no pain. But something is definitely transferring from Him to me. It’s a word and some numbers. I can feel tears flowing from my eyes. Just His touch had completed the inner workings of my very soul. I can hear His voice ask me if I understood his Words.

I speak the word and numbers.

“John fifteen thirteen.”

He pushes me back through the very fabric of space, and time. Back toward my body that’s lying next to the fountain. Amid all the medical bric a brac, and the bustle of saving of my life, right before entering back into my body. I make eye contact with Him again. This savior. My savior.

He winks at me, and whispers as loud as a church bell, “Stay Gold Ponyboy.”

I feel like I’m on the plummet part of a roller coaster as I’m falling back to life. I can hear the paramedics calling out plays right before I touchdown.

“We’re losing him!”

“Charging to 150!”

“Got charge!”

“CLEAR!”

This should be interesting.

Electricity is something we all take for granted. You flick a switch, and the light turns on. Nothing really spectacular.

Or is it?
I can feel the heat, and tingling of living science fiction course it’s way through my body. Tensing every muscle I have in an single, unanimous jolt.

“JOHN FIFTEEN THIRTEEN!”, is the first breath I exhale with mighty force. It scares the audience of medical workers, Arches, and myself.
“He’s back. Get a stretcher.”, a young female medic calls out.
Arches hugs me. He’s sobbing or laughing. I can’t tell which, but either way it’s a great sound.

“What happened?”, I ask before being told that I should try to rest. Apparently I’ve been through a lot.

The same young female paramedic informs me that I was jumped by a group of thugs. (I knew that), and after taking out two, one brandished a knife, and proceeded to skewer me on the side of my belly. According to my friend, Golden Arches here, after I went down, they kept up the  beating until the blood started flowing. That seemed to scare them away. Arches here piled me out of the fountain, because I did a Nestea plunge back into the fountain, and was drowning.

“Helluva night.”, she said.

I meant to respond with, “You have no idea.”, but that came out as “You’re cute. Have you met my friend Arches here?”.

She’s smiling as she strapping me into the gurney thing and places me into the ambulance. Arches said he met us at the hospital, to which I told him that I’d be damned if he didn’t ride with me and Captain Cuteness. Also saying that he was my brother helped a bit.

While we were whizzing through downtown to get to the hospital, I could hear the sirens and feel the urgency of the tires screeching. But that didn’t take away the urgency of those words,

JOHN FIFTEEN THIRTEEN.

Right at that moment Arches look at me and asked me what that meant. Could he hear my thoughts? I mean that kinda odd right?
“What did what meant?”, I asked.
“When you came to, you called out John fifteen thirteen. What does that mean?”, he asked while cleaning his glasses.
“I have no clue man.”, I answered. “It’s something that was on my mind when I was Frankensteined back to life by her royal hotness here.”.

“It’s a verse from the Bible.”, Captian Cutie Pie’s not so attractive partner, called out from the driver seat.

“The Holy Bible?”, Arches squawked back.

“Is there another Bible you know of?”, I chunked back at Arches.

He leared at me behind those Wayfarer frames.

“Didn’t any of you boys go to Sunday school?”, Sergeant Not Cute asked.

We both looked at each other and shook our heads in a unanimous “no” gesture.

“What’s it say?”, Arches asked.

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”, he answered. “So says the Good Book.”, he added.

Me, and Arches just looked at each other. No more talking on that ride was muttered. I can remember just cutesie looks between Captain Cuteness and my man Arches as they unloaded me at the hospital.

Stay Gold Ponyboy indeed.

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Posted by on March 7, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

The Wayback Playback Machine 1.0

A lone bead of sweat, slowly drips from the tip of my nose as I step towards the home plate box. I scan the field and see my teammate stranded at second base. He looks to me and our eyes catch. The moment is understood. He needs to come home and I’m holding his ticket. This is the situation that separates the men from the boys. Clutch time.

Kickball in the second grade is serious business and this isn’t just a kickball diamond, it’s an operating table.

… and I’m the surgeon.

As I approach the plate, the left fielder starts to walk in a few feet. Rookie. I now know where this ball’s going. Over his head, rolling unchecked, whilst I round the bases, probably with my right arm in the air, proclaiming I’m number one, and he should’ve known better.

“Baby bouncies!”, I call out to pitcher. (roller? Not sure the call on that.) Baby bouncies was my meat. It’s what sends the ball high and deep.

A ruckus starts to escalate behind me. “It’s my turn, not yours! My turn!”, is being wailed from the line of kickers awaiting their “ups”. As I turn to scope out the situation, a blur of blue sweater and orange tinged blonde hair come at me in a rage. “It’s my turn, cheater!”.

This is the moment where all things go slow motion. Forcing my arms to fend off the incoming attack of flailing arms, I notice his head dipping toward my forearm, and the unsheathing of piranha type teeth. I shift to maneuver out of harms way, but it was too late. I could almost hear his teeth sink into the meat of my arm, which was quickly stifled by my bellow of horror. Instinct took over. I hit him. Hard. I could feel his midsection wrap around my clinched fist.

Let me pause the “Wayback Playback Machine” for a sec. I’ve always been told that when in doubt in a fight, hit the biggest guy. Win, lose or draw, you earn respect, which in some cases, could help down the line, ie; prison.  At any rate, I was about to put some of that advice, to the test.

 

Unpause.

 

When my blow landed, I could hear the rest of his air left in his diaphragm, exit in a hurry. Problem solved, or so I thought. The group of kids gasp in unison, and piranha boy’s crutches falling to the ground right before he did, changed my opinion real fast.

You see, Chompers was that kid. The kid who had to use crutches all the time. I think it was Polio, but back in the second grade, he was just that kid. Now, he was a heap of limbs and unused walking sticks, and I was the direct cause. I mean, everything stopped. Action at the monkey bars, swings and foursquare spot fell hushed as all witnessed my crushing blow of victory over the handicapped boy who couldn’t walk without crutches.

Now Biter Boy wasn’t the biggest or the baddest, but respect was given to me from then on. I was the kid who beat up Crutches, and reveled in my new found place in kid lore.

As all things do, people forget, as did the second grade class of Washington Colony Elementary School. My tale of pure heinousness slipped into memory. That is until a third grade girl, took me behind the trees and began to pelt me with a barrage of unwanted kisses. She soon tasted fist as the recess bell sounded and I ran back to class.

Thank you for enjoying my new segment here, called simply …

“The Wayback Playback Machine”

 

Until next week campers, I remain your obedient servant, The CongaScribe.

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2011 in Personal

 

Toot Sweet?

Our littlest of hang-ups is sometimes the stuff of genius or legends.

This is neither.

I’m going to take you to the “Oh no he didn’t” category. Over the years, anyone who has known me has noticed certain idiosyncratic ticks regarding … bodily functions. More exactly, the expelling of gas in public.

I am anal about that subject. (Couldn’t resist) I do not believe in sharing my inner order with anyone, and will always excuse myself to the nearest restroom to relieve pressure.

Before I continue, I’m assuming we’re all adults here. If not, please wait till the end of my sharing before indulging in armpit noises and ‘Blazing Saddles’ references.

This is where I’ll pick up our vaporous tale. A few nights ago, I was enjoying some cinematic goodness with my girlfriend (she absolutely loathes being called that.) After the movie credits, I could feel my bladder about to burst, ( the large movie beverage will usually do that to a person , weighing in at a hefty nine gallons and all …) and I do a pee pee shuffle double time to the movieplex restroom. Understand this, I’m not trying to gross anyone out, just reporting on a curious situation I found myself in the tiled sanctuary of pee and other things.
As I expel a huge flagon of once carbonated and now used soda, I feel alone enough to also relieve some more pressure. At this point, I know I’m alone, there is no other participating pee pee dancers at any of the wall mountable toilet bowls.
Until…
From the adjacent stall, I heard the deliberate and very frightening cough, accompanied with a rustling of paper. At that moment, if Murphy’s Law was a real person, it punched me in my midsection and caused the remaining air to exit swiftly in a high pitched squeal. Here I sit, an almost forty year old, father of three, dying a fast social death, in a place where, until that moment I thought was safe for that exact purpose.

The quickening pace of more paper crumpling, trousers being pulled up hastily with an almost deafening zip of a zipper, only added to my mortification. But this is not the end of it. A figure, ( I say this because of the speed this individual was moving, figure was all I could make out), darted out from within the stall, and made a direct path to the exit. That’s right, straight to the door. No washing of the hands, to prevent whatever the crumpling paper was touching, from going forth and spreading Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye).
There I was. Alone in a three stalled, five urinal equipped movie restroom, still trying to attend to remnant dribbles of my own urine, wafting in my own musk and swimming in shame.
After a long pause, I double tapped and gathered what was left of my dignity and headed to the sinks. Depressing the soap dispenser, recreated a similar gaseous sound. I couldn’t help but laugh.
I exited the bathroom in a contemplative state, but reassured myself that I had the protocol right.

Until …

A young couple, hunched over in that “I’m telling secrets”, huddled together pose, looks my way, giggles and make for the exit.
Double time.

I don’t know it happened, but in a place made for the bottom half of your body and all its functions, I’d become an outcast. A rule breaker.
A tooter.

Until next time my friends, I remain your obedient servant.

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Posted by on May 20, 2011 in Personal

 

Me, a fan? … Maybe

Almost twenty three years ago, I started my love for a sport and a sports team. I was a passenger along for a Saturday of baseball with my high school girlfriend’s parents. They had invited me to go to San Francisco to watch the family’s favorite team. This was going to be a mix of emotions for me, because at heart, I really didn’t enjoy baseball.


I knew for the most part, it was a game between two players, a pitcher and a batter. That was it. The rest, as far as I was concerned, was left for over paid athletes who scratched, chewed, and spit all the while waiting to make a play

The day was a great one. If I can remember correctly, hot dogs, sunflower seeds and Pepsi were the menu if the day. And a long day it was. I was to learn the meaning of a what they call in the Major Leagues, as a double header. The Giants were playing against the Ted Turner owned, Atlanta Braves.
It was a windy day at Candlestick Park, but the sun found it’s way to the field. The green grass is still a vibrant memory in my head as are the names Clark, Mitchell, Uribe, Maldonado and Aldrete.
I left that park that day still not convinced that baseball was “all that”, but I did leave with my team.
Over the next few years I entered the underworld of fandom, fighting my best friend Mark, and his accursed Dodgers. After high school, Mark made his way to Russia. Even in the land of vodka and perestroika, Mark found a way to send a Western Union telegram, which read, “Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Giants suck! Dodgers Rule!”, or something to that effect. Even after the cross continental bashing from Mark, I never really learned the game of baseball.
Enter Steve and Larry.
Steve entered my life as a transferred workmate who came down from San Jose. His brother Larry, followed shortly after

.
I could write volumes about Steve, Larry and mines adventures, but for right now, I just want to focus on baseball.
Steve and Larry gave me the love of baseball. The little nuances of how the coaches work. The excitement of every pitch. This is a gift I can never repay.
We lost Steve during the Giant’s playoff run to their first World Series Championship title ever in the city by the bay. We watched “The Freak”, Timmy Lincecum, go nuts on the Atlanta Braves, and the next day he left us.
Move ahead to last weekend. Easter Sunday. Tia and I pack up the Sante Fe, coffee up and head to The City. A vendor from work got the sales force tickets to Sunday’s battle against Chipper Jones and the boys from Atlanta. I’m sensing a reoccurring theme here.
Despite losing in extra innings, I had a glorious time in AT&T Park. It was my first time there, and it was everything it’s cracked up to be. Buster Posey hit a two run homer that electrified the stadium and garlic fries and Coke seemed to land a grand slam with our stomachs.
Twenty three years ago, the Giants of San Francisco took on the Braves of Atlanta. Last weekend, the same teams took up the battle once again. The time in between?
I spent it learning to be a fan.
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Posted by on May 2, 2011 in Personal, Uncategorized

 

A smile is mightier than pen or sword

I had called my cousin the other day. It was your standard, run of the mill “BS” call. A time to catch up, waste time and laugh at our impressive goofiness. This day was different. When his voice resonated through my phone’s earpiece, I became aware of the positive vibe he was throwing out.

In a business where I talk on the phone all day long and have been known to make people happy with just a simple inflection of my voice, it was being done to me. It was wonderful. I stopped him mid thought and thanked him. Its not often that I’m on the receiving end of platonic man phone love. He said that he hears that sentiment often. And for the most part, that’s what people tell me.

We started talking about the power of the smile, and how it transcends through the digital relays of the all powerful phone company.

You can hear a smile.
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Posted by on April 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Episode IV.5 : A Newer Hope

As I sit here in my bedroom, plugged into my laptop, I start to chuckle to myself .

I have, like many of you out there, allowed myself to be swallowed be media. Right now, the clicking of my chiclet keyboard is being drowned out by the beautiful guitar riffs flowing through my firmly snugged ear buds. My digital umbilical cord is jacked into my laptop, streaming Van Halen III from my Zune player, (don’t judge me), and I’m loving every second of it. At the same time, I’m playing my move on ‘Spell It”, a Microsoft “Words With Friends’ clone, on my Windows Phone 7 smartphone, and watching ‘Trading Places’ with Eddie Murphy on At&T’s U-Verse cable slash satellite service. I can’t hear anything from the television, but I’m not worried in the least. It’s at the part where Winthorp, (Dan Akroyd’s character) has been arrested, and the police officer (Frank Oz ; Fozzy Bear, Miss Piggy and Yoda), makes fun of Winthorp’s opera tickets. “It’s an opera”, he says.

I’m not sure where I’m heading with this, but I do know that I can entertain you along the way. Well, I think I can.

Hope. Hope is more accurate of a word.

I know that I have so many facets, that I’m sure I can weave a real interesting tale. Question is, are you willing to come along and participate? It will be a fun ride. I can feel it. The time is right and I have alot of areas I’d love to explore with you. I have untold stories from my childhood, embarrassing moments aplenty and loads of creative “umph”.

Anyhoo, it’s my turn on my ‘Scrabble’ type clone of a clone game.

See you soon.

A.M

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2011 in Uncategorized