Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Today's Word: Trust

Daddy held out his hand. "You don't have to trust me," he said. "I was never a father to you, Joey, so I know you probably don't trust me. But I'm here for a second go. I'm lucky, test pilots don't get many second chances."

To be continued

Monday, January 26, 2004

Today's Word: Pseudo

"I don't want you," I said. Was I growing shorter? Was this pseudo father growing larger? I looked at my hands, they were tiny. I was tiny. I was a boy.

To be continued

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Today's Word: Amazed

"Whoever you are, you need to get the hell out of my yard before I call the sheriff." Again I was amazed at the sound of my voice -- so young, so like the eight-year-old I had been when daddy died.

"You got a bum deal, Joey. I'm back to fix that. I'm back to make up for some of the hurts."

To be continued

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Today's Word: Reminiscing

Daddy was standing in the backyard. He wore his old jeans, the ones he donned for painting or mowing grass, and a scruffy football jersey I hadn't remembered till that moment -- a Dolphins jersey.

I was shaking, but I didn't run. I stepped out the screen door and moved closer. It was nighttime. Maybe this was some vagrant come to beg food, just some schmoe that caught me reminiscing and happened to match my dad's build. The man did not move, or disappear.

"Who are you?" I asked. My voice sounded young.

"I'm your daddy, Joe." His voice was right. It was keen and full of happiness -- it was light daddy.

"You're not my dad. My dad's dead."

Daddy smiled and held out his hands like a man saying, look here, do I look dead to you?

"I'm not dead, Joe. I'm just a little more. . . spread out."

To be continued

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Today's Word: Barometric

Last week, while sitting in the kitchen beside the old kerosene heater, eating a bowl of cereal from mom's stash in the pantry, something caught my attention outside the window. It wasn't a sound, nor a light, but more a change in atmosphere, as if the barometric pressure had suddenly dropped or risen.

To be continued

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Today's Word: Journal

I began this dateless journal a week ago today. That was the first day daddy came to me.

To be continued

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Today's Word: Boneyard

Mother died seven weeks ago. We buried her in Alabama, not in the plot beside daddy -- the empty plot that bears his name and nothing else -- at the Washington military boneyard. I didn't think she would want that.

To be continued

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Today's Word: Notoriety

I'm thirty years old. The world has mostly forgotten my father's name, as it does most people who die tragically. Killers -- human or natural -- gain notoriety, not victims.

Even I had mostly forgotten him, at least in all the ways an abused child might forget his abuser. But the good times are still with me. Is that so strange? To remember him only as a good man, a strong man, a pilot, fearless and sure? These are my only memories of the man, dim though they may be. I know that he was abusive, but those memories seem faded, dulled to gray in my mind. Mostly, I remember light daddy, the who left us for space.

To be continued

Monday, January 12, 2004

Today's Word: Legislation

We moved, but not back to Greensboro. Mom packed us off to live with Grandpa and Grandma Sacks in Alabama. From then on my childhood was quiet. I graduated high school and went on to study biochemistry at USC (you can't lick our cocks!). After a few years it was rare that someone would hear my name and ask if my father was that astronaut, you know, the one that attempted light speed before the government signed legislation banning further experiments. Most times I said yes, which led to further tedious questions. But sometimes I lied. No, we just share a name, I'm not related to him.

I wished it were true.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Today's Word: Distortions

Daddy won his slot during spring break. He took mom and me to Miami and Disney. He was happy daddy then -- light daddy, that's how I thought of him.
Light daddy took us on vacation. And it was light daddy that boarded the shuttle Adventure wearing his gallant orange pressure suit, bound for the Matyoshi space station. I imagine it was light daddy too, that departed Matyoshi aboard the Envoy, Earth's first and last attempt at faster than light travel. We received no live transmissions and any recordings were burned up in the wake of crashing time wave distortions. In fact, if the telemetry from Hubble III is too be believed, most of the nearby spacial debris and large portions of Pluto's atmosphere were sucked away by the subsequent black hole that lasted three milliseconds after the disaster. I doubt any man will ever know what really happened. Time distortions at the site make it impossible to investigate beyond long-range radiation and radar probes. Suffice it to say, daddy was gone.

To be continued

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Today's Word: Aces

I didn't know the smell of hard liquor back then; I had never been to a pilot bar, never seen the aces poisoning their fine brains with stupid penny bets.
Daddy put me in the hospital that day. All the while I could hear mom screaming, "Joseph, no! No, Joseph, that's your son for God's sake."
I had to tell the nurses I fell down the stairs. We didn't have stairs in the Pensacola house.

To be continued

Friday, January 09, 2004

Today's Word: Titan

Florida was hot. I didn't make many friends because it was summertime, but I stayed out of the house as long as possible every day, because daddy was coming home exhausted from testing. That made him mean. . . everything mad daddy mean.
School started and mom packed me off with my TITAN5™ lunchbox. Kids in Pensacola didn't like TITAN5™, they said it was too last year. I begged for a new one, and when mom said no, I begged all the more. Too much. Dad heard me one night, begging for something new -- he didn't care what it was: toy, clothes, lunchbox -- it was reason enough.

To be continued

Thursday, January 08, 2004

I'm starting a new serial story. Enjoy

Today's Word: Atomized

They said daddy was atomized, smeared across the cosmos like a thin paste of jam. I was eight years old.

Faster than light travel was within our grasp, all the news programs said so. We moved from Greensboro to Pensacola so dad could compete for test pilot slots in the new ISEO (International Space Exploration Organization). I didn't want to go. All my friends were in North Carolina, so I stayed in my tree house, keeping so silent my nostrils sounded like a clogged vacuum. When dad found me he boxed my ears till they bled. I had made us late and put the movers behind schedule.

Today’s Word: Deflower

My internal critic deflowered my muse.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Today’s Word: Eschew

Marty was never one to eschew the more dishonest means of earning a living -- it was a choice expected in the lower burrows of Geo Tokyo -- but the day he decided to pick the pocket of a quiet, square-shouldered man passing through one of the eastern slums was the first time Marty had had any contact with the new sect of Zen Taoist Samurai Elitists now building a temple in the Matyoshi district.
The Samurai, after breaking Marty’s left arm (fingers still reaching into a coat pocket), dropped him on the ground and systematically broke his collar bone, three ribs, and four of Marty’s tea-stained teeth. When he was done, the Samurai turned quietly on his heels, and walked slowly away as if he’d had nothing to do with the disturbance. For his part, Marty slipped off into a pain-induced coma, only to awaken sixteen hours later to a new life of studying to become a Zen Taoist Samurai Elitist.

Yes, this is a repeat from some months ago, but I figure few enough people read my blog to notice, and I like this one, so there.
Besides, the novel is eating up my time. It's a monster.

-- david j.

Monday, January 05, 2004

Today’s Word: Pejorative

Linda has prerogative; she's rich and I need her.
Rachael has priority; she's a natural redhead.
Kelly has presence; men look when she's on my arm.
Lucy has promptness; she's always on time.
Regina has pejorative; she's smart enough to dump me.

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Today's Word: Crotch

The only thing worse than hives on your butt is hives on your crotch.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Today’s Word: Endue

My little girl tripped and fell, climbing the steep, grassy hill just before the finish line. She had been in third place, but several children passed her up as she lay sprawled, her grass-stained palms digging into the soft earth, struggling to rise on tired legs, wobbling a bit as she gained her feet. How I wanted to run to her, to lift her up by the armpits the way I had when she was a toddler. But I couldn't -- she would refuse me; she would push me away, wrinkling her nose at the very idea of help from her father, from anyone. I had endued her with this self-reliance, this determination to prove her worth in a world that would churn her under at the first sign of weakness. Never had I experienced such a mix of pride and pain.

She was daddy's girl no longer.
Today’s Word: Score

Late at night, when the sun is equidistance from dusk to morn, the scratching people come. They are wispy white souls with hands like balled up pieces of notebook paper. Long mouths and long eyes dominate their faces, wavering like disturbed water, while baby-fine hair dances about their heads on invisible currents of static.

The scratching people come in the house -- no lock stops them, no dog hears them. They slide in through cracks in masonry or window seals. On your bed they sit, these scratching people, scoring your back and belly, left elbow and right nostril with dry, itchy fingers. Their sound is your sound; the sandy susurration of nail on skin, slinking in the dark like cat claws.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Today’s Word: Sullen

The sulky seventeen year old lounged back in her oversized, plush-cushioned chair, letting her socked feet dangle over the carpet.

"But why do we have to die, Dad? I mean, our cells renew themselves for years and years, why can't they go on like that forever?"

Her father regarded the girl, catching her with an instant smile that made her grin despite her sullen mood.

"I suppose our cells could go on forever. They have it in them, if you will. But that's not how mother nature works. Like all things, not just living things, but all substances in the universe, we must evolve. We must move on, and the only way to do that --"

"-- is to die." The girl made a rude noise with her soft mouth.

Her father just smiled all the broader. "Yes," he said. "Yes, dear, that's exactly right. Evolution isn't about great strides in development like some engine being redesigned on a drafting table."

"So life is really just about bearing the next generation. A generation that will be better then you. . . that will be the death of you, really."

Her father nodded. "That's the hope of every parent, sweetie."

"I can't understand that. I never will."

Her father only grinned in that infuriating way of his. He was so last generation.