July 16, 2013 § Leave a comment
It was asked: So, how long have you two been married?
I remember looking at my wife and seeing “everything I never knew I always wanted.” Which of course is her favorite quote from her favorite movie Fools Rush In and what I have found to be absolutely true. There was a certain glow about her when she looked at me that moment. I melted. Which is what I usually do. Who answered this annoying question is always a surprise. This is because whoever answers first usually tells the story of how we first met. Then, there are follow-up questions like You guys look so in love, what’s your secret? As someone who hardly likes talking about this particular subject, i.e. marriage and love and togetherness and feelings and such, I find it exciting knowing that I have secrets that I don’t particularly feel I should share with you. Partly, because I’m competitive but here it is: It’s because “I am better than you”. Which is my favorite quote from my favorite character King Julian from my favorite movie Madagascar. How I got this far in life and how I have become extremely lucky, surprises me (us) all. But the truth should be this: every married couple should believe they have it better than everyone else. Least, that’s how I feel. That’s why I hate this question. Because I can’t look you in the eyes and say: It’s because we’re better than you. No. that would be very rude. I can only look at my wife, then look at you and say…
Two years…no secret.
April 19, 2013 § Leave a comment
She went with a smile, embracing her end of days. He grabbed her hand a placed it in his. God-like locks laid calmly in the grass and the expression on her face appeared at peace. He stood armed with a new kind of hope and resolve. He saddled his stallion for the last time, gently praising the powerful and magnificent creature. He trotted off, slow at first, toward their tents. He gripped his sword with unmeasurable strength and drew it from its sheath. And into the shadows of the valley of death he galloped, craving more than just their blood.
April 12, 2013 § Leave a comment
The drive north on 77 was highly anticipated after a long semester. Before going home, we would stop at The River Walk in San Antonio. It was early afternoon by the time we would get there. Our usual parking was an extraordinary one. I say extraordinary because it is at the parking lot of an old hotel some several blocks of The Walk. The treasure beneath this old hotel is a cigar bar. Buried beneath the limestone walls, lead by an old stair well was the ancient layer. It might have been a dungeon in medieval times but today, it was our first stop and always our best stop. The dark corners housed men of great wealth as beautiful woman brought them wine and cigars. I felt my friend and I were both under dressed and under appreciated and rightly so. None the less, the mysterious darkness and cigar smells continuously beckoned us back. It was pricey so only a lager for the two of us, a moderately priced cigar for our journeys and we were off.
Upon reaching civilization, blinded by the afternoon rays, we made our way to The Walk. The dodging of vehicles and horse-drawn chariots required a bit of balance and good timing. Stone statues provided exhausted tourists, the elderly and the homeless a place of rest. It was a typical weekday afternoon. The ascent to The Walk by our usual path is surrounded by several waterfalls. The hotel adjacent houses another place for refreshments but that is not where we begin our journey but end it.
Our next stop is the Irish pub next to a small clearing of beautiful green grass known for having a live band and dark ales. The food can only be described as “good” as the ale may have the potential to cloud our judgment. We of course gorged ourselves regardless. Then, by some time shifting phenomenon, it was nightfall. After these few or so beers, The Walk had awoken from its afternoon slumber. The setting of the sun resulted in the loosening of the reigns in which kept her at bay. When we first arrived, only a few bystanders and mid-shift employees wondered the streets. The bars and restaurants once circumscribed by the “B Team” waiting staff and hostesses, now welcoming with Hollywood-like faces.
Crowds wondered the brightly illuminated banks accompanied by the sounds of chatter and mariachi musicians. Tour boats gracefully turned the meandering river as the man with the microphone carried on about the architectural history, and significance, and so forth. The surrounding pubs and restaurants bellowed out cheers from sports fan and beer fans and food fans. There are Scottish bars with beautiful woman in kilts waiting to take your order with a CREST white smile, a tequila bar to test your tolerance and pocket-book, and restaurants to give you the strength to carry on with the best of us. There is this one particular restaurant where they put a tall white pointy paper hat on your head as the theme of the restaurant is to treat you like shit. As ludicrous as its sounds it is one of the best restaurants, even for a 45 minute wait.
My friend and I wondered at this phenomenon. And so we marched with the rest of the tourists and locals to the eccentric beat where the lines are blurred of nationality and plurality to a place where people can be people. To tourists, the meandering sidewalk could easily cause one to lose their bearings. One wrong step and the inattentive soul could land themselves in the 3 foot deep, untreated waters of the San Antonio River. To a native, however, she easily assuaged the stresses of the day. One by one, we walked in tandem and admired, drank and admired, saw and became inspired, drank and loitered until, she came.
Our last stop stared us in the face. We had walked the entire path, not once but several times. As I had mentioned before, there is this hotel attached to the river. It is a convenient hotel as it makes it easy for its guest to detach from the world simply by taking the elevator to the “River Floor”. That particular elevator is encompassed by glass. The last stop is always bittersweet. It is at this bar and at this hotel where we sit, several beers deep, patiently waiting. We wait for that infinitesimal hope that the lonely housewife may be looking for some trouble. Unfortunately, she did not come to visit us. At least, not this particular visit. And then, as sure as we knew it, it was time to leave. We jumped in our metal stead and rode off into the waves of higher callings. Next time, we thought. After all, she’s just to pass the time.
April 5, 2013 § Leave a comment
There, in the head nurses arms, was a child soon to be a good man. The child grew to a boy then a teenager. In high school, his father gave him his first bottle of cologne. It was a bottle of Royall. The young boy then on the day of receiving his gift, applied only a single spray before school. It wasn’t by coincidence that he suddenly became more attractive to the ladies but that it was certainly because he smelled so good. So as he gathered his things such as his keys, wallet and watch he would make it a habit that before he headed out the door, he would spray not once but twice from the bottle of Royall. He won the game that homecoming night, got the girl and went home feeling like a King. In his mind he imagined it was because he smelled so good. It was sometime after college that he walked the stage with his class in search of that great career. It just might have happened that he got the job because he smelled so good. He met his wife in the diner that evening. She sat peacefully reading the paper when she was interrupted to borrow the salt. She had mentioned several times that it was because he smelled so good. When the call to arms came, he kissed his lovely wife, grabbed what he knew was important; her photo, his wedding band and of course, that old bottle of Royall. He wrote to her every night as artillery lit the warm, dark blue sky, spraying his letters not once but twice of Royall. It was torturous and satisfying to the young wife. On his return, safe from harm, she held before him a handsome young boy. It was on his 5th birthday that the boy knew his father by the distinct smell of that old bottle of Royall. As years had passed and the man had lived a life of great deeds he passed on his old bottle of Royall. It was, to his son, the greatest memorabilia that he ever retained. The day his father died and bequeathed his cologne, he sprayed not once but twice a spray of old Royall. He never felt more powerful and humble and he knew this feeling all too well; it because he smelled so good.
March 30, 2013 § Leave a comment
The man wiped the blood from his lips with the back of his hand. Dry soil had covered his face by now. His chest, back and head ached from the beating. The young cowboy slowly crept toward the bloody and bruised man; his worn leather boots chiming with every step.
“Is it really worth it?” the cowboy said to the beaten man.
“Look at their faces.” The cowboy pointed his pistol at the man’s wife and sons, frightened of the outcome. “Is this what you want for them; to be husbandless and to be fatherless?”
BANG! A single shot echoed the dry valley. The man’s wife and son’s bellowed out horrifying cries.
An older man, finely suited, stepped off his horse. The cowboy stood back as he approach the dead man on the ground.
“I had bargained with him too long.” The suited man said. He put his pistol back in his holster. “This land and the water beneath it, now belongs to the town. This man, your husband and your father, died a hero today.”
The suited man returned to his horse, followed by the cowboy. The cavalry began to ride off save the young cowboy. He trotted over to the weeping family, looked at the eldest of the two sons, consumed with anger and fear, and said,
“I will be waiting for you.”
March 27, 2013 § 2 Comments
The pouring rain further carried his frustration to an even worse state and the umbrella Jedlin had been using proved useless. To make matters worse, a hurried gust of wind had grab hold of his faulty device and threw it to the ground. Watching it tumble its way down the road, he released a sigh of forfeit. He pressed on despite, dripping wet.
Jedlin finally made his was inside a nearby diner, just to allow the storm to settle. As he took his seat in the booth near the entrance, he noticed a young girl holding the broken umbrella. It had occurred to Jedlin that the girl was looking to return it to its owner. He immediately stood from his chair and began walking towards the diner’s door, but just before he was about to exit he paused. Starring out the window panes he noticed that instead of using the umbrella, the girl had it neatly folded and banned. The poor girl reminded him of the day his Father handed him his feather.
Jedlin continued through the diner’s door, down the stairs into the streets. As soon as the girl met eyes with Jedlin’s, she immediately walked up to him and handed back his black umbrella. The two stood there in the pouring rain not saying a word. Jedlin didn’t see a scared young girl but a humbled soul, the soul, and he felt certain it was her.
Jedlin sat at the foot of his father’s bed. He watched as his father tied his bow tie to his black and white tuxedo. He didn’t know where his father was going and was never curious enough to ask.
“I’m scared of failing,” the young Jedlin said to his Father. “I’m scared of having it all taken away from me. This temple from which I stand upon to protect, I feel I cannot promise to keep them from tearing it down. Even if I am to fortify it with all my might and strength, I fear those forces may someday take what you have intrusted me to protect.”
“Then, my dear son,” his Father chimed in, “you must seek a person with even greater strength to fight for His people as I have done with you. I looked far and wide for someone to take my place and His holiness showed me you. I have faith in you, my son, as my Father had faith in me.”
Jedlin’s Father pause to look at his son.
“You have it with you, right?” He asked.
Jedlin reached inside his pocket and pulled out a cloth, unwrapping it to reveal a white feather. Jedlin’s father smiled as he turned back to the mirror to make the final arrangements to his attire.
“There will come a day when you will need to find your replacement. Someone who is humble, meek and selfless. So be ready for that soul.”
The young girl appeared cold and hungry. Jedlin looked at her and asked, “are you homeless?” The girl shook her head in conformation.
“Why are you out here? Why don’t you find yourself some place warm to sleep and a hot meal to eat instead of relying on others to help you?”
The young girl looked at her feet ashamed, handed Jedlin his umbrella and began to walk away.
“Don’t you want something to eat?” Jedlin yelled out.
The girl turned and again nodded her head.
An old Jedlin laid weak in the ancient bed, prepared for his fate. He reached for the leather-bound booklet, worn from perpetual use, containing the lineage of Jedlins. From the beginning of human kind, every Jedlin had recorded the passing of the feather.
He held the book gravely one last time before he handed it to his daughter.
“Come over here,” he said to her. “That night at the diner, when you brought me my umbrella. I knew I had found you.”
Jedlin stared at the young girl, witnessing her swallow the many layers of pancakes whole. He then laid on the table in front of him a one-hundred dollar bill and a single white feather.
“I want to make this easy for the both of us. Take the $100 and pay for this meal, a room with a hot shower and a place to rest in peace for the evening. After indulging yourself, you will find that when you wake, you will remain desolate and abandoned for the rest of you life. Take the white feather as a reminder to find it in your heart to care and love for those who suffer greater than you. After a while, when it is time, I will call for you. Then, will you find, that the feather of my Fathers have given you riches greater than this one-hundred dollar bill by an infinite degree.”
Jedlin handed the book to the now grown woman.
“I watched you grow into a great person. Greater even than I could imagine. It is your turn to hold this temple firm as your Father has and my Father before me. We watched you care for the weak, feed the hungry, give shelter to the homeless. It was no accident that we met. I took you in and had you taught at the finest schools. You learned from professors who have taught for thousands of years.”
“Jedlin’s are God’s Angels. I am Jedlin the 17th. You are the 18th and Commander of the 18th Regiment.”
Jedlin watched her lips moved as she read the following pages:
Jedlin XVI – Jailed for stealing, 28
Birth – 11 October 1716
Death – 18 January 1886
Jedlin XVII – Rescued from a ship wreck, 16
Birth: 18 January 1886
Death: 27 March 2024
Jedlin XVIII – Homeless, found outside a diner, 12
Birth: 27 March 2024
“Wait,” the young woman replied. “It shows your death and my birth as today.”
“The moment you step out of this house, the war begins. Alas, here comes your army now.”
The doors to Old Jedlin’s bedroom roared open to a slurry of men and women of great health. One-by-one they filed in to witness the passing of the feather. They were shielded and sword, masked and armored. Their eyes were a bright, burning blue flames and their wings were beautifully white and great in size.
“You have it with you?” Jedlin asked the young woman. She turned to Jedlin and reach into her pocket, pulled out a piece of cloth and revealed a white feather.
“You carried that white feather these many years so that we may be with you during your journey. That feather encompasses all that we are.”
He took the feather from her, held it above his head, closed his eyes and prayed.
“Eat our Father’s feather and become a Jedlin.”
The woman took the feather from Jedlin XVII, put it in her mouth and ate it.”
Old Jedlin smiled as his body began to radiate with heat. Beams of light began to penetrate his skin, consuming him more and more until finally, the old man vanquished. When the woman opened her eyes she found on herself the wings of an Angel. She stood, spread her wings in at its glory, naked as the day she was born.
“Hail! Jedlin the Eighteenth! Fighter of demons!”
March 26, 2013 § Leave a comment
Tethered to the drunken, old man, the checkered, worn wooden block, slightly sunken in from perpetual use waits in aggravated anticipation, reeling him in every morning through the snow covered hills west of the Rockies, singing the same shrill tune that makes even his blades quiver as he endures yet another never ending saturated battle, slicing, drinking, sweating, slicing, drinking, until finally, at night fall, after the two have had their fill, retire soundly into the dreams of those, belly full and plumped but tethered and waiting for the shrill sound of their own.