Tag Archives: Story

Foolish Old Man – The Sweet Scent of Spring…

The flowers in the lobby look a little sad today. They are drooping and falling onto the table. But the scent hits me as soon as I entered the seventh floor lobby.

The sweet-smelling purple flowers fill the room with life, if only for a moment.

Stepping off the elevator and into the lobby, the only person I see is Kirk. With his back to the elevator, he seems to sense that it is me…

“those are Violets you smell…” he said “I ought to know! I’ve trimmed them this morning as I have done for forty-seven seasons!” he continued as-matter-of-factly.

“Hi Kirk! I….” I squeezed in, but he just continued…

“Forty-seven springs of bloom did I tender!” He pauses as if all of a sudden lost in his own thoughts.

“Even in Nam I grew them! I picked them every morning and placed them on the net of my helmet…”

Wait a second! He’s not talking to me! he’s just recounting his memories. Re-living the moments that the scent of the violets brings.

“Nope! Nam couldn’t kill that…” Now Kirk seems to pause for a second and that causes me to wonder, “they could not kill his plants or his spirit?”

That moment lasted for a few minutes and then all of a sudden a happy moment seems to sneak in. A slim smile graces his somber face as if a water leak just sprung thru a crack in the solid stone wall…

“We even had Violets at my oldest’s wedding!” he joyfully shares.

“Every Spring my daughters used to wake up to the sweet scent of violets in our home. I don’t know why, but slowly the weight of the years and the slipping of the months seem to make the sweet scent just fade away.” he stops as almost to ponder that thought

“I don’t know why, but Violets just seemed to be around less and less till one day…”

Kirk now stopped!

I waited but the pause just lingered.

“…till one day what, Kirk? what happened?” I implored to know. He never reveals any bits about his past, but when moments slip out like this, well I am anxious to know.

“One day…

My dear, sweet Betty.. .

was gone.”

Kirk stopped all together. The trip down memory lane ended and he just slumped forward in his chair. Kirk reverted back to being a resident at the nursing home and the only thing running now is the drool down his cheek.

So sad to see them just stop like that. But even sadder is that something caused them to shutdown those memories.

The memories are repressed, almost as a way to not hurt any longer.

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A Change in Everyday Conversations

Over the last couple of months I’ve noticed a change in the typical everyday conversation friends are having with me. Friend’s attitutes have been changing, yes the economy has something to do with that, but people are talking differently.

A few years back conversations I was a part of or hear, people mostly talked about the things they have – a new IPod, Blackberry, Iphone, new car, new house, new projects, etc. Then over the last year mostly it has been negative conversations about how bad the economy is. People were fearful of losing their things and money – rightfully so! I am one of them, so don’t think I’m critisizing, just commenting on what Im seeing.

Then in the last few months I saw a big shift! I’m hearing a different type of conversation. People are sharing of how they are dealing with the economy. One friend said:

“We are not going out as much as we used to. On the weekends, the kids used to go to the movies with their friends. My husband & I used to go out to dinner or the theater. Now we are staying home and playing board games.”

Another friend shared of how life has changed for him.

“I used to go out and hang out with the guys. The kids used to do sleepovers. Now I am spending more time with the kids at home. We are actually having a sit down dinner every nights & I’m having conversatiosn with the kids.”

Sure these are all responds to the circumstances of how the economy is affecting everyone, but the underlying commitment I’m hearing is of simplicity. People are going back to the simple things in life. Another friend shared:

“We are loosing everything we’ve had. The bank wants to reposses my car and I’ve had to sell my jewelry to pay the bills. But you know what I am happier now they I used to be with all that stuff. We always worried if the stuff would be stolen, If I had the same car my neighbor had. Now all that I am concerned with is the well being of my husband & the kids.”

Wow! I’ve only been focasing on the bad side of this economic downturn, but there is always something good, or something to get out of any failure. I am getting that it is an adjustment where we can go back to what is really of value in our lives – the people around us!

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Mystic Journey

Last night I had a very interesting dream. The dream was very vivid, almost lucid and most definitely sequential. A lot like my Bella Mercedes dream, this is definitely an Epic-type Dream. The dream was spread out thru several different moments from which I felt like I woke up several times during the night. As I fell asleep again, the dream would just pickup where I left off last. Also the dream was accompanied by several songs.

The dream started with me riding my horse thru the Nordic countryside. I see myself as a lone horseman from Scandinavian folklore in a hurry to complete my journey from the end of a battle. Like Led Zeppelin’s song says: “Valhalla, I am coming…”


I felt lost in this forest for what seemed like months. Finally, out of the corner of my eye, I see light coming from a clearing in the distance. I make my way towards the clearing and the imagery, sounds and environment change.

Resting PlaceThe feeling I got in this part of the dream is a Celtic mysticism. The music running in my head still feels like a Led Zeppelin journey.


At the edge of the clearing I see a beautifully lush valley. I am no longer on horse back and I find myself walking. I am now wearing soft leather-laced sandals. Walking for what felt like hours, I must complete crossing this valley and I reach the edge of a river. I see myself dipping my feet into the river, stepping on moss covered rocks.

This time instead of running towards something, I find myself running away from something. There is a strong need to cross the river but I must rest for the night. Tomorrow will be another way.

The morning mist is laying very low, kissing the top of the trees. Dew dripping from the tips of soft, large leaves drips onto my forehead and wakes me. Softly the sun rises to light up the day.

Waking to a new dawn, I must complete my journey. Now I find myself to be a Greek soldier. The cold water of the river running between my legs is forceful and I struggle to keep my balance. “I must cross and must reach the other side.”

On the other side of the river is a marshy area. Foggy and slippery, this bog I must cross.

On the other side I will find my home. Finally I can rest.

To be continued…

This dream is full of imagery, mixed mythologies and dark undertones. It is gigantic in the story it is trying to tell me and so vivid that – awake – I can still see the images. In the first part I am a Nordic warrior on a journey to (what in the song is called) Valhalla. (“In Norse mythology, Valhalla is a majestic, enormous hall located in Asgard, ruled over by the god Odin. Chosen by Odin, those that die in combat travel to Valhalla upon death, led by the Valkyries.” – Wikipedia). At the end of battle I return, as a chosen one, to Valhalla. But being “lost in this forest” I feel like I do not belong there.

Therefore in the second part I travel to the end of the dark forest to the light of the “clearing” running away from death to the valley where my home is.

Waiting for the next day “There is a strong need to cross the river but I must rest for the night.” So why am I now a Greek soldier waiting for darkness to be over to cross the river? Well in Greek mythology – the transcending from one world to the other is reprensented by the crossing of the River Styx. By crossing back across the river I am trying to escape darkness and am now trying to embrace my previous life.

Now onto the next part… (see next post)

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Foolish Old Man – #5

“I’m going to lunch. You want me to get you something?” asks my assistant Dani. A few moments of silence sits in the air as Dani waits for my reply. “What did you say – lunch, is it that time already?” I reply faking a happy distracted mood. Dani seems to be worried for me now and not sure what to say. “What’s the matter? You have been so distracted all day long.”

“Oh. nothing, I just got off the phone with Mercy and I got some sad news.” Again a few seconds of silence as I stare at my computer screen and ponder what Mercy just said. The words “Kirk’s daughters are busy right now and could not talk to me. But they gave me their OK to put him in Hospice.” Wow! This left me feeling totally empty. How can they be so unconcerned.

I suddenly realize that Dani is waiting for me to continue. “Nothing really!” I reply, forcing an even more insecure smile. She stares me down to tell her the truth “It’s just that Mercy had to take Kirk to the hospital & she just gave me some bad news.” Dani pulls up a chair and immediately sits down, almost as if to say – Tell me more

“Mercy just had to put Kirk in Hospice.” Dani & I are just sitting there staring at each other – not sure what to say. I’m sitting there silently thinking, was it Kirk that I was waiting for at the gates of heaven?

“Oh my God! Hospice? Isn’t Kirk that older gentleman that Mercy takes care of?” Dani adds. Before I could reply she continues. “Why is Mercy the one registering him into Hospice? Isn’t his family supposed to be there to do it?” This question hit me hard. Kirk has no one – here. He finds himself all alone & the only person to love & care for him is Mercy.

It hit home for me & my mind immediately flashes to a future of where my life is heading. I am so wrapped up in my worries. So wrapped up in myself & circumstances that I leave people aside. Paying the bills and making my business work can’t be the only things I devote my time to if I want my family to be there for me. I saw myself – in my future – as Kirk is right now!

I see myself laying in a hospital bed. I’m a frail old man, laying there with all kinds of wires poking into my body, and thick tubes hanging out of my nose. There are loads of machines that seem to be monitoring all my vital signs. Nurses are urgently dashing in and out of the room. There is plenty of activity going on as people are taking care of me. I am seeing this as I’m floating over my bed looking down at myself. I see one nurse taking my pulse while another nurse is preparing the heart defibrillator. Everything is beeping like crazy! The monitor alarms going off and the life line on the screen all of a sudden goes… flat!

I see the doctor leaning over me, trying to listen for my breath. “That’s OK nurse. We’re not going to need that now.” He says and just pauses for a second, As if to make sure that this is his final decision.

“He’s gone.”

Then everything goes silent! No beeping, no alarms going off. Nothing!

I can’t hear a sound and things seem to be in slow motion and foggy now. I look around the room and all I see is sterile white walls and the coldness of all the metallic equipment. Not one bouquet of flower to add color to my world, nor there to soften the scent in the air. Not one card or picture to breakup the sterile white-ness of my space.

And worse of all – not one person crying for me as my soul drifts out of my body. Wher is Mercy and Marc? Have I chased them away?

What have I done with my life?

As I drift away all there is, is a soft song that fills the air. I had the radio tuned to a classic rock station before all this started. And up until now I did not even hear that radio.

But now…

the music just fills my soul. The serenity of the moment and the peace in nothingness fills me. The only thing I can focus on is the lyrics of this song playing:

Isn’t life strange
A turn of the page
A book without light
Unless with love we write
To throw it away
To lose just a day
The quicksand of time
You know it makes me want to cry cry, cry.

Wish I could be in your heart
To be one with your love
Wish I could be in your eyes
Looking back – there you were…

– Moody Blues (Isn’t Life Strange)

As I ascend past the ceiling of my room, the sounds of the room start to fade away. The lyrics, now just a distant memory, makes me wonder – if some of those, that I’ve left behind long ago, who shared my happiest moments – ever think about me. I start to cry and weep from all the loneliness I’ve created around me, as I drift away for all eternity.

“What’s the matter?” Dani questions, shocking me back to the present moment. “Why are you crying?” Dani reaches over and hands me a tissue to dry my tears. As my mind settles back to my present day reality, I get frightened by that future. I need to do something so that my future does not look like that! As I land back into my body, I feel compelled to answer Dani. “No, Kirk’s daughters live in California and in New Jersey. They are busy and cannot be here to put him in Hospice. We are his family here. He is my father-in-law; my mother; my cousin. He is all that I know – all that I’ve lost – all that I am. I need to care for him now.”

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Foolish Old Man – #4 – Monday Morning

(Another portion of my short story…)

"What a beautiful morning!" exclaimes mercy. "Argh!" I reply. "I'm still in bed. Let me sleep!" I yell back as I cover by eyes with the warm toasty blanket. As I'm dozing off, Mercy decides to continue! "What a nice sunny day. Too bad, you're missing out on such a lovely typical Florida morning!" In spite of my plea to let me sleep, she continues. "I forgot to tell you. I need to take Kirk to the doctor's office for a followup. Can you pickup Marc after school today?" "Argh! Let me sleep!" and at that moment I roll over and cover my whole head." I'll call you later! Bye honey – luv ya!"

Finally some peace and quite! I think to myself. Now I can get a few more minutes of sleep. Finally, I close my eyes and doze off again. But in what felt like only minutes, the alarm rings! Beep!Beep!Beep!Beep!

"Shit! I can't believe this. Now I have to get up!

So this is how my Monday morning started this week. I just blow it off, though, and start my week anyway – what else can I do. I grab my coffee mug and get in the car. As I’m driving to the office my cell phone rings. I grab it and am ready to answer the phone when all of a sudden the traffic stops to a grind. I almost dropped the phone and hurry to pick it up and answer it!

“What! Mercy,” I answer. "Hi honey. How's your day going?" As I'm ready to yell and let her know how my day is going, I hear some sadness in her voice "what's the matter?" I ask her. "There's a problem with Kirk! The doctor is rushing him to the hospital." At that moment my heart just dropped into my stomach. I didn't know what to say. "You want me to come with you?" I asked. "No, that's ok. Kirk looks fine! I think its only a precaution that the doctor wants to take. He's ok I'lll call you later to update you. Bye"

As she hung up the phone I get the sinking feeling that things are not going to be ok today. See last night I had another one of my vivid dreams. I dreamt that I was standing at the gates of heaven receiving the newcomers. It’s a beautiful and euphoric moment full of joy and excitement! The feeling of happiness is like I’ve never felt before! I am the happiest I’ve ever been! My goodness, I’m standing at the gates of heaven with St. Peter, and my task is to welcome everyone into heaven. I cannot describe the greatness of the experience and the oneness of heaven. The only word that comes to mind is Nirvana!

I’m there greeting and welcoming people into heaven, when all of a sudden I’m feeling a little distracted. I continue greeting the newcomers and I just become aware that I am waiting on somebody – someone that I know – is expected to arrive.

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