Happy Birthday to You

Her birthday’s today. A special bouquet, custom made for you.
“Space is what I need.” is what she said…

Cold, & firm – didn’t even let me in to get my stuff…
Slams the door is all she did…

As I turn around and head back to the car, my grip loosens & I can’t hold onto the disappointment. That special bouquet of pink, yellow & red roses, slips from my fingers and falls into the reflective puddle. It’s stark, cold reflection, is broken by the slow ripples of sadness spreading thru the surface.

“A dreadful, stormy night ahead and the music on the radio is lame!” I say to myself as if expecting a bit of sympathy. Nothing, will be able to soften the mood today – maybe not even music.

OK PowerMix cassette! “Lets see if you can lift my spirits, once again!”

Sure enough a mellow, sad song comes up mid stride…

“I’ve been waiting for you…

Signed with a home tattoo
Happy birthday to you
was created for you.” ♫

“how ironic… I would have done anything for her.”

Sitting back into the bucket seat, I just try to dwell in the sounds of irony…

Pulling up to a red light, I get a pause to contemplate the moment. I put my head back on the head rest & close my eyes for a second. A sudden sensation that someone is watching me, smacked me in the face! I open my eyes and look to the car to my left. Two guys sitting in the front. The passenger with long, stringy blond hair and the scruffy driver with short messy black hair – thinning on the sides and balding on the forehead. Being caught, they quickly look away.

“Hmm that’s odd…” that driver seems very familiar. “I’ve seen his face before…” When I look back the car drives off.

Words, playing me deja vu
Like a radio tune
I swear I’ve heard before…

I drive on as if this smack didn’t hit me. Really, it didn’t mean anything anyway… My attention goes back to the comfortable moment with Duran Duran on my stereo – just trying to dismiss the worst day of my life.

“It doesn’t matter anyway… I didn’t need her. It was all just a fun game of Cat-n-Mouse…” I say out loud knowing its a white lie but trying to convince myself that its better this way.

“I got entangled in her sharp claws but instead of running, I stayed…”

I pull into the Hess gas station and decided to call a few friend to reconnect – you know – see where they’re hanging out. “Ring, ring, ring…” is all the receiver would volunteer. They have all moved on to their own cat-and-mouse games.

“I might as well go home & put these pieces back together again.” I tell myself in a tone of surrender & with the strong desire for this day to be over!

Heading down Military Trail, the traffic is flowing slowly & below the speed limit. I just get lost in the tune of the music & the soothing rumble of my Camaro…

“Lost, in a snow filled sky
We’ll make it alright to come undone”

Trying to obliterate the last few moments, my mind returns to the trip home. It seemed shorter, but glad that it’s coming to an end. As I put my blinkers on to make the right turn onto Purdy Lane, I notice something weird in my rear view mirror.

“Hey! it’s those two guys who were starring at the red light!” What are they doing here? “Have they been following me?” In a split second my mind shuffles thru what seems like a flash of a hundred faces…

Shit! that’s her X!!” I knew I’ve seen that face before – a picture of a weary guy hidden in a drawer…

He’s a tall, lanky guy. Wearing a white t-shirt, beaten & transparent from obsessive over-use. Just a blue-collar guy, with scruffy hair. He seems weary from trying to put his life together again with her. No wonder he wants to get out his frustrations on me!

As I make the turn, he speeds up & tries to ram my rear bumper. I hit the gas to get him to miss & he spins out onto the oncoming lane. My tires, startled by all this sudden excitement, squeal & leaves black trails in the asphalt. He accelerates, trying to catch up, but is at least a few hundred yards behind. Barreling down the road, trying to get away from him, we’re doing 50 on a 25 and Bonnie Drive is coming up.

“Do I turn & pull into the driveway – or – keep going?” I ask myself as if I would answer back – I don’t know what to do… “turning in & stopping, would be two against one – and it will be revealing my sanctuary.”

My heart pounding, I see him gaining distance on me. All I can thing to do is floor it and speed away from him.

I pass a slower car & he gets stuck as oncoming traffic blocks him. A good gap grows between us as he tries to pass the slower car. Finally I reach Jog Road and luck will have it! The light just turned yellow.

My tires squeal around that turn & he, like his future with her – is stuck at the light. As for me, I’m long gone – not sure of what’s next…

“Who do you need?
Who do you love?
When you come undone

Who do you need?
Who do you love?
When you come undone”

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My Birthday Surprise

1972 ChevelleToday is my 17th birthday! My brother-in-law, Carlos, surprised me with a new car! Well not really a new car but definitely new to me.

I wasn’t sure how I could afford one & then he just shows up with this car! The excitement fills me! I don’t know what to do except jump into the car & take my first ride.

It is a 1972 Kermit-the-frog green Chevy Chevelle. It has a blue driver side door and the bench seat in the front is tomato red. I don’t care about the colors, it is mine & I love it.

“open up the hood!” Carlos shouts out to me as I park the car. I slide out & open up the hood. It is a clean straight six with a black standard air filter housing. That’s the first thing I am going to change. A nice chrome cover with the exposed air filter.

“You know that if you change those basic rims with some nice chrome ones, the car will look sharp.”

“Oh that is a good idea! I will do that after I get my next paycheck”

– I love this car!

It is all mine and I love it! The car my new wheels and my symbol of freedom. In the morning mom wakes me up “Come on Pablo, wake up so that we can go to the cleaners…”

“Mom, today I am going to sleep in late.” I tell my mom with a great sense of confidence.
“I will be there in the afternoon.”.

As soon as she left, I jumped out of bed & went out to clean the car. I spent the whole morning washing it and polishing it – like if it was brand new!

I drove to work calmly & leisurely. All I want to do is spend time with my car.

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Bittersweet Fourth of July

I finally got my birthday present!

My birthday was back in May, but my parents could not afford to get me what I wanted – that is until today. I got a great surprise! Coolest Chopper in Town

A Chopper bike! It was nice! The sissy bar; the ape-hanger handlebars; the shifter; the tiny wheel upfront; the lean-and-mean slope it had; even the Kermit-the-frog green to match the family car. This bike was moving – even standing still!

The first thing my brother and I did was modify it. We leaned those ape-hangers as far forward as I could possibly reach. I barely had my butt on the edge of the seat, but I was hanging – out at the outskirts of my dreams!

It really was cool! My parents planned the whole day. We went to the park for a picnic by Indian Pond. The sky was a beautiful shade of azure with those little puffy clouds that slide into place every once in a while just to give us a burst of shade. I had all the hot dogs I could eat and spent the whole day riding. Everything was incredible and this was the best day of my life.

I even learned to ride a bike today. My brother, running out of patience in teaching me, wanted to ride it more often and would not let me have a turn riding my bike. “They got it for US!” was his reply, but I know it was mine – right? They didn’t get me anything for my birthday so this must be a way to make up for it – isn’t it?

At about 5pm, my brother and I got into a fight. He would not give up the bike and I ended pushing him off. My parents have had enough and loaded us back into the family wagon “the green machine” for the trip back home.

When we got home everybody was tired and all my brother and I did was argue – like brothers are supposed to do. We pull into the perfect parking space right in front of our brownstone – right in front of our basement gate.Home_ :: New York Brownstone

We unload the car but my brother and I argue over who will put the bike away. In the morning we woke up all excited about how wonderful our 4th-of-July had been. I run down to the basement just to feel the bike – after all, it could have been only a dream. I get there and no bike. Was it really a dream?

At the moment my brother comes up behind me and says – where’s the bike!? Didn’t you bring it in, fool? We look at each other with that little-kid-in-trouble look of – ooh-ooohh!

Running outside in our pajamas, we are struck by the glaring heat of a July morning in New York. Our eyes, adjusting to the brightness, start to focus on the green machine. Only to realize that the side-rear window, of the wagon, was shattered – like my dreams – into small bits, all splattered out on to the sidewalk.

I should have just put the bike away, but I guess it does not matter, at some point someone would have stolen it anyway.

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