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Monthly Archives: October 2012

I’m taking this week off to re-charge. Here’s today’s Fiction re-run.

brian westbye


Image Source: NYPL Digital Gallery

She was meant to be a shadow. Nothing more than looming black across my light. That’s all she was and all she’ll ever be.

I first saw her in winter. Back table against the wall. She was pure, raven-haired seduction. Alone, reading an early afternoon edition of the Herald Tribune. I came in without my hat, and the snow in my hair melted and ran down my neck, onto my collar and down the small of my back, and there she was. Instant sensory association. I wanted to marry her on the spot, but I couldn’t even say hello to her.

The winter went on and on, and I always hoped for snow, so I could feel the drips down my back and thus feel her. She almost always got the same table, and I almost always got the same table, one in the middle…

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I’m taking this week off to re-charge. Here’s today’s Memoir re-run.

brian westbye

Daydreaming

It begins as a notion in the afternoon.

I’m deskbound at a call center, listening to irate and distraught insurance policy holders and informing them of their limited rights under the settlement of a class action lawsuit for $11 an hour. I have a 70 page script of legalese before me, and not one page bridges the gap between the answers that exist and the answers they want. I feel like a monster and want to visit every last caller and kick puppies in their presence, for all the good I’m doing them. 200 calls in queue throughout my floor. No let-up.

The Globe sits on my desk. I scan the box scores from last night, the news and notes, the predicted starters for tonight.

Hmm…maybe…

I step out of the air-conditioned nightmare into blissful east coast summer humidity. Gonna be a beautiful night, the kind you want to…

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I’m taking this week off to re-charge. Here is today’s Fiction re-run.

brian westbye


Image Source: New York Times

1:17 AM: The percolator finished bubbling and Kevin Walton pulled himself away from the window to pour a cup. He had the cushiest day-job ever, working a four-hour shift schlepping credit cards, so he was free to keep whatever hours he wanted. And he was fortunate enough to have found an apartment in the back of a building, offering quiet and seclusion. It wouldn’t last, but it was perfect for the time. He often stayed up all night, listening to jazz, playing his piano and staring out the window at the action, or lack thereof, across the air shaft.

Hot night, windows open, Ellington on the stereo. “Harlem Air Shaft.” Kevin remembered a quote from The Duke that he read for an assignment in Jazz History class at U Maine Augusta. He still had it in a notebook. He found the notebook in a steamer…

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I’m taking this week off to re-charge. Here’s today’s Memoir re-run.

brian westbye

Slight bit of hyperbole: my grandfather was not exactly the squishy type. Never mind that he drove a baby-blue Delta 88 (1979, used) with a baby-blue slipcover for the bench seat, and especially never mind that all farm work stopped every day at 2:00 PM so he could watch Another World. Other than that his default mode seemed to be exacting bastard, and seldom was heard an encouraging word.

I know he loved us (and we’ll get to that), but it was tough never feeling like anything we did around the farm was good enough. My grandmother always consoled my brother and I later, saying “Don’t mind him; his bark is worse than his bite.” But it was hard. If you were to do a mash-up of sound bites from people who played football for Vince Lombardi in Green Bay or Bear Bryant at Alabama, the running narrative would…

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I’m taking this week off to re-charge. Here’s today’s Poetry re-run.

brian westbye


Image Source: The Missourian

I feel the pull tonight
Tides to shores, astral plains to mortal coil
Obtuse and obdurate
the Perigree spreads unease
it is intrusive, all-seeing and all-knowing

The night carries a luminance
the beams wash across the floor
in shimmering patchwork
I sleep, fitfully, restlessly
knowing that the moon
has my number

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I’m taking this week off to re-charge. Here’s today’s Fiction re-run.

brian westbye


Photo Source: Joel Meyerowitz

Rick fell back into the couch, greatly enjoying the all-over buzzing and exhausted feeling that comes from a great lay. Being a conscientious renter, he had thrown a towel down on the velour couch before christening it. Afterward, he pulled the bottom of the towel between his legs, forming a hybrid diaper toga. He would get up, but not for a few minutes.

The windows were cracked, just enough to let in a slight breeze that flitted over Rick’s naked body. The smell of sand and fried seafood drifted in, along with the sound of a game show from a few doors away. And the sound of the breakers, rhythmic, mechanical, perpetual, filled the cottage.

It was the beginning. Beginning of the long weekend, beginning of a relationship, beginning of a whole new outlook. Brand new day. Rick was loving the solitude of the cottage, the…

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