Life is actually really crazy and fantastical. The thing is that nobody wants to tell stories because they’re afraid that they’ll sound insane. But every once in a while you get a person bold enough to tell their story and that is when you have to accept the wonder of the world.
My cousin Dina visited my brother Cabell and I in Boston for Thanksgiving this week. It was wonderful having her over. She looks so much like our mom, her being with us was like homesick medication. Before taking her to the airport this morning we stopped into Thinking Cup on the Boston Common for a quick couple cups of coffee. Whilst sipping away Dina and I played a literary game of air hockey with my phone and wrote this short story.
Me: The sun rose
Dina: A girl woke up
M: To music from Chopin on the radio
D: The coffee in the table was hot
M: And her windows were open
D: She likes the mornings but not this morning
M: But the sound of the ocean floating in on a cool breeze eases her mind
D: And Remains her home , but this wasn't her home
M: And then, the accident
D: The car , the crash and the silence
M: The pain in her legs every morning
D: And scars in her heart, still bleeding
M: Knowing that he is no longer there
D: And she will never see him again
M: : There is a knock at the door
D: She don't want to answer
M: Knock, knock, knock, knock
D: Who is this? And what they want? She wondered
M: A voice through the window "It's your mother, I know you're home"
D: The sound of her voice makes her relax and think that everything will be ok ... Someday
M: The End.
Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.
One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs.
His bed was next to the room’s only window.
The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.
The men talked for hours on end.
They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation..
Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he c ould see outside the window.
The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.
The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake
Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.
As the man by the window described all this in exquisite details, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque scene.
One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by.
Although the other man could not hear the band - he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.
Days, weeks and months passed.
One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.
She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.
As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.
Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.
He strained to slowly turn to look out the window besides the bed.
It faced a blank wall..
The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.
The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.
* Author: Unknown * Sometimes this is how I feel about songwriting.
The kind old man I met this morning on my flight from Portland to Phoenix could have been my grandfather.
I feel as though somewhere over northern Nevada he struck up our conversation - in the way that clever kind old men do, with stories that make the young men curious for rabbit trail details.
He told me stories of his rotor balancing business and the way he was excited to be passing down his company to his children. How he stayed competitive with his company by only buying Western hemisphere supplies, and being at the top of his field. We talked about politics, china, the gulf, and the world view, and when I spoke about my thoughts on things he listened intently and waited for me to finish, never cutting in. I cut in quite a bit, and as I write - realize that I have much to learn about how to be an old man, should by God’s grace I someday become one.
We talked about sailing. He told me about how in 1981 he had spent a week in the Caribbean on a 55 foot schooner with some of his friends but he didn’t enjoy it because everyone knew how to man the boat except for him. All he could do was drink cocktails and beer, so since he resolved not to be useless - after his trip he picked up racing motor boats.
42, that’s how many cars he has. He told me that he had just bought his last one and that his son had been on his case about having so many. I asked him where he kept them all and which was his favorite, The GT he just bought was his favorite “Why?” “Because the price was right.” “What was it?” “19 thousand for the car, 421 for the work.” “Deal, Did you send it to china or what?” “No, I sent it to my guy down the street from the ranch.” “Fair.” “Yeah it was totaled, I fixed it.”
His wife sometimes hosted pool parties for her dog and the dogs of her friends. He didn’t seem to mind and said of them that the parties were just excuses to sip wine and drink cocktails.
Our pilot cut in over the intercom announcing the planes descent, our conversation slowed. We started to talk intermittently about how his friend wanted him to buy some 700 thousand dollar house on the edge of a golf course with an olympic sized swimming pool and two bungalows - he told her he would have bought it but he didn’t live in the state. “You know there are a lot of people in Arizona that dress just like me and you - got more money in their front pockets than most people make in a lifetime.” I listened on.
At the terminal the flight doors opened to a chorus of people eagerly getting up out of faux leather seats, letting fly overhead bins, and crowding into the intimate airplane walkway. We sat there waiting, knowing it was of no use to rush. I turned to my new old friend: “Manasseh,” “Oh!” he shook my hand “Ralph.” his hand was a lot bigger than mine “it’s nice meeting you Ralph.” he smiled.
After that we were quiet, eventually rows exited and ours became open, upon grabbing my bag overhead I turned to Ralph and said goodbye, he nodded, and I walked off the plane without looking back.