Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Widow Kowalski

"If those kids kick that ball into my yard one more time...," Mrs. Kowalski thought to herself. She was drying dishes at her sink and looking through the cheesecloth-like curtains at the handful of neighborhood kids playing kickball in the street in front of her house. She looked on as Stevie Nichols kicked a screaming line drive past Peter Schaub and on down the street. As Chris Perkins retrieved the red rubber kickball from the drainage culvert, Mrs. Kowalski thought to herself, "How many ball have I confiscated and yet they just seem to find another one and keep playing..." Just then, Ben Simmons hooked a ball that seemed to hang in the air forever before it dropped directly into the rose bushes beneath Mrs. Kowalski's nose and kitchen window. Before the ball had even landed, boys were scrambling in all directions to escape the Wrath of the Widow Kowalski. "That one's mine!" shrieked Mrs. Kowalski while she hustled away from her sink and out the screen door. "You boys come back here!" But none of them did. Mrs. Kowalski gathered up her sixth round, red annoyance and wished that, just once, one of the boys would try to talk her into returning their kickballs.

Friday, September 28, 2007

In Her Head

Debbie had a gift. She can write. It doesn't matter what the style, short fiction, social commentary, satire, reflections. The thing is, her muse comes and goes. One day, Debbie will be really excited and whip up something very satisfying. Then three weeks will pass when all her ideas careen around the inside of her skull, ramming into the sides and each other, doing their best to become nonsensical. A friend will comment about what a delight it is to read her work and will ask why she doesn't write more. Another friend encourages her to stick with it, that her talent will shine through and some day she'll make it big. Debbie files these comments on a shelf in her brain and wonders what the true definition of a gift really is. If she only uses her gift sparingly and not for commercial gain, does it stop being a gift? If it is only a hobby, does that make it less of a talent? She doesn't want to waste what she's been given. And she desires to use her gift to give to others. Sometimes it's just hard. "I think I'l write about that," Debbie says to herself. But the idea ricochets off a dozen other thoughts and sinks to the bottom of her head.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


A good friend from work finally went out to lunch with us the other day. He had been out of the office because his wife was diagnosed with kidney cancer. Sleep was hard to come by, he told us, just as positivity was hard to hold on to. I told him that times like these enabled us to be more compassionate towards others who may be suffering unbeknownst to us. He agreed as we got up from the table. On the way home that day, I delivered a number of invectives against my fellow motorists.


I finish eating my food and pick up my book. The driver's seat of my car cradles me. Small streaks of light filter through the pine tree that I park beneath. My mind wanders from what I'm reading. I am tranquilized by the shade and soft breeze. Hazy shadows that resemble a woman's long eyelashes bat at me from the page. My head nods. It is time to return to work.