Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Man Raised by Wolves

What of the man raised as a boy by wolves? There was a natural misunderstanding between the boy and his pack-or family-while growing up. The only understanding was of protecting and hunting to consume and live together. The boy did not understand human language, for he was raised by the animals since a month after his birth. He did not understand the language of the wolf, rather, it was on another plane of understanding with few, very few, similarities to that of a human. He understood his senses-as he possessed all of them-as do wolves.
            The boy was taken care of by the motherly alpha female of the wolf pack. She was one that had only two pups so a third was little more hassle, and the only problem was the human child aging slower than her pups and so stayed dependent on her longer. She started having feelings similar to that of frustration when it came to raising this animal she had little knowledge of, one she had to-at times-protect from the larger-fiercer-males of the pack looking to make a meal of the helpless infant. But being fierce herself, she was always able to fend them off. The infant had to suckle from the teats of the motherly wolf for nearly a year until it started to take part in eating scraps brought to it by the wolf, while still having to protect the babe. The baby would wrestle and play with the other pups of the pack and, at around this time, started to discover senses, feelings, and certain understandings developed through nature though not through language. The meanings of and the understanding of these discoveries were not-completely-understood, as there was no understandable language to connect the images with a language or with interactions amongst the family in the boy’s memory. And so his world was incomplete, but he was alive. He communicated with his pack in ways forgotten to mankind but still existed deep in animal understanding hidden in some channel of the brain.
The boy was not stupid and could see differences in front of him. For instance, he noticed he had less hair throughout his body than his family, they could also contort their bodies in ways he could not. They had sharp fangs and paws, a large snout, hearing far better than his, sight too that was sharper than his. The boy could grasp and hold, walk upright or crawl on hands feet and knees. All these differences of the body that-again-he could not understand. The noticeable differences being body parts, the understanding of what a body consists of was possible, though he did not understand the reason for a difference nor why he had no tail and what it was for. When he mistakenly lost a kill for the pack by being too loud, he was treated even worse than he normally was. This he could understand. Food for the family and himself was easy to understand. It was mutual survival.
The “boy’s mother” possessed a mate, and he was a brilliant hunter. Because of this, the pack felt he had the right to be the first to partake in consuming the kill. He never took more than what he needed and left plenty for the family.
This is perhaps what stayed in the boy’s mind when he was found at the age of eleven by a group of herders protecting their property. The boy recognized the men, but only somewhat, they possessed this skin he had never seen before. Communicated in ways through more than barking or howling. He was curious with these creatures and so when the boy’s pack fled, he stayed to study. The men would be-understandably-completely shocked by this boy sniffing the air stark naked and studying the men from a distance as one would an object just out of reach in water that is too hazardous to wade through. The men had eventually been able to trap the boy and his days running with his pack were over.
Slowly, he learned all he could about his life and the world he had been disconnected from for more than ten years of his life. Language he eventually picked up. Society and the history of his world became evident and the boy consumed much knowledge. The famous boy, since he was raised by wolves, had been a public spectacle-with many tests run as he was taught-and studied-by some of mankind’s greatest minds. Even when it was determined he could live on his own in society-independently-he was followed and studied to view his reactions to the world he no longer wished to live in, a society that was cold and more unfair than his pack-his family.
The boy-man now-would walk upright and alone-unaccustomed to both-on a street-also something new and odd-and ponder the world. He marveled at the achievements of mankind, but questioned the reasoning behind most of it: like any wise philosopher or hermit-as he had become a regular Philomath. And one time while walking-and being followed as he was still being studied-he came across a man. This man was homeless, helpless, and appeared to be as alone as the man raised by wolves. By this time the man had a name: Grey. Grey went up to the homeless man perplexed to the reason why a man would be alone on such a cold night, Grey remembered cold nights snuggling up to his family for warmth. Grey was wearing clothes-not quite used to underwear-and noticed this man’s clothes being worn, torn, and dirty. After a long conversation with the man-that was never thought of much nor discussed about in the studying of Grey-Grey had found that his species, his world was less forgiving, less understanding, and more willing to let a man or infant die and not share the glory and beauty that was life. He knew there were some of his family that wished to eat him when he was younger, he had scars to remember how close they were, but he understood the animal’s reasoning: anything to benefit the pack-which was of a different species of the infant.
And so the man raised by wolves could not understand the benefit of letting a single lonely human die at the hands of his own family.
Justin Vaisnor

-For the nature of humanity is to impel men to agree with one another, and its very existence lies simply in the explicit realization of a community of conscious life. –Hegel

Friday, March 30, 2012

A Train Ride

      By Dave Karp

        This is a character I'm still developing and decided to write little scene for him tonight.  I hope to expand his story and thoughts and dish out a good world for him sometime in the future!- Dave

          The night was as quiet as a lonely road, with nothing but the echoes of far-away police sirens and whispering wind blowing through the sky. It was a peaceful night, from what I remember. I remember feeling some sort of presence as I stood on the platform. It was the presence of something sudden and final. It glowed in the streetlights and lay still on the train tracks, surrounding me with an uncertain peacefulness. It was in everything as I looked at around me; in every rooftops, every traffic signal, every billboard, every snap of a leaf, and it continued to stay with me even after the headlights of the train came roaring past me and the train car that appeared in front of me let me in with a ding.
I took a seat and watched the people around me. One taller guy was kissing his lover like it was the last day love was alive. A businessman read the headlines of the paper, spilling news both good and bad to his eyes with black, definite ink. He didn’t smile or grin; he just let the world be. A bigger homeless man slept with his mouth open, drool traveling over his chapped lower lip and hung over the seat he was lying in like a icicle off a gutter.
And there I was, coming home from work again after another night working tables and earning my tips to help pay the rent. It wasn’t ideal, no, but it’s was my job. And that was good enough for me to keep plugging through the headaches and sleepless nights in my little bed that laid cold and unwrinkled just for me to mess it up later.
I watched the city fly by me like it was in the wind itself. Light after light, brick after brick, building after building, home after home, street after street, person after person. All I was doing was watching out the window like I was going on safari through the built up beauty of an urban jungle. It kept me at peace, surprisingly. Even through the hustle and bustle of the night life that was alive in some of the areas we passed…I still felt a quiet peace. I felt like I was drifting through clouds.
Then the train went underground and the walls around me became whiter and the windows became mirrors, and there sitting next to me behind the window was a drifter; a loner; a wanderer; both satisfied and lost. He looked just like me.
Occasionally, a fluorescent light passed me by like it was in a hurry. I just watched them out the window, shining on me every few seconds like spotlights. The light warmed me up though. It felt right. It took me through station to station in the darkness of the underground and kept me sane from the darkness I was really in.
That’s when I realized- maybe that’s what God is. I saw God in the subway lights. He was guiding me through some sort of darkness and kept my life going. He was shining again and again, pushing everyone on the train through. Yes, I saw God in the fluorescent lights. And they took me all the way home as the night died behind me.
Is this faith? Is my God a fluorescent light? Do I go through this night after night like a broken record? Am I anywhere? What am I? Is this the dream I had about my city life?
And those are the thoughts that were with me as I laid my head on my old white pillow, shut my eyes, and said farewell to another conscious day. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

From My Dream Journal #1

by Dave Karp

           I was sitting alone in my living room on a green couch that seemed to be coming apart towards the ends. The lighting, which consisted of light sockets scattered around the room housing bulbs, was very dim, yet menacing. It hit me that there was nothing else in the room but this couch, a rug on the spot of floor I was on, and, next to me, a large fold out table, gray and menacing with the look of it. I could feel the cold of the metal as I sat next to it, looking down at it as if I was looking down at my own grave.
            As I looked up, I could feel eyes staring at me in the shadows of this confined amount of seemingly floating space. And out of the shadows…they came. Two men. Big. Looming. Grim.
            They sat down in chairs across the table from me and started talking to me. At first they seemed nice, talking to me about my day and how I had been feeling at the moment, but then they looked at me with harsh unsettling eyes. They told me to lie down on the table and that I would be fine. And for some reason, I obliged to their wishes. I stood up from the couch I was sitting on, crawled up on the table, lied on my back, and then just stared into space. Of course, a few seconds later, the two men’s heads came into my field of vision.
            They stared at me, gave me heartless smiles and told me that I would be fine and I would barely feel a thing. Then, though I can’t really tell you exactly what it was they had, they pulled out tools that looked almost like little drills. Again, they assured me that I would be alright, and then one of them held me down as I tried to struggle, but I was too weak to free myself. The other man then grabbed my skin and pinched it. And then, like that, it was all done in one motion…
            He took the drill, put a sharp piece into the end, and then slammed it down on the skin he was grabbing and pierced me through it. A tear came from my eye, but I was no longer struggling and decided to try to take the pain. I could see the blood squirt a little in the corner of my left eye, the incision being in my left arm. I could feel it go through me, and they continued to pierce my body in a different place every few seconds.  I could feel the pain rush over me, into my breath and through my bloodstream, to every nerve ending possible in my body. My body was solely a channel for pain, but I refused to utter a word. I would not scream.
            All I could hear is the sound of the drill, the sound of laughter from the two men inflicting me with the feeling of physical and emotional hopelessness, and the sound of haunting silence. It still lingered in the air around me, as everywhere I looked above me, I saw nothing. Absolutely nothing. Still, they continued to drill on and on.
            After about fifteen minutes, it finally ended. I was left lying on the cold metallic table, with every ounce of energy drained out of me. I was alive on the outside (at least, the half that wasn’t covered in holes and blood) and dead on the inside. I could not move a muscle. I didn’t really care.
            I heard one final bout of laughter before the two men flipped the table over. I fell with a thud to the hard wooden ground, but as I fell, I realized that I was alone in the dark room once more. No men. No table. No couch. Just my naked body and the snow falling from the empty sky. I just stared off into the distance until I woke up. 

Friday, March 23, 2012


Mick tossed his nearly finished joint into the standing sidewalk concrete pot that held several cannabis sativa plants. Julia flicked her chestnut hair back in the bright sunny clear day. The usual downtown city noise surrounded them as they walked down Randolph Street, heading toward the lakefront.
            “Are memories coming back?” Julia asked her cousin, Mick.
            Mick kept walking but put his hand to his forehead rubbing it, as if it would help. “No. I still don’t remember. Do you have another one of your joints? I think you’re righ’ about this street vendor stuff.”
            “Sure, here,” Julia pulled out from her pant pocket another joint and handed it to Mick. She then made a small surprised jerk and pulled out her phone from her hemp purse. “Oh, I still have to vote.”
            “Vote?” Mick said surprised, “I’ll come along I guess, where’s the nearest polling station?” Mick asked pulling out his lighter and striking it.
            “Polling station?” Julia looked confused at Mick-again he felt like he had said something wrong about general knowledge-Julia showed him the screen on her phone, “No, No. We vote on this, I guess there are polling offices for those without one, but just with the press of a button I-anyone for that matter-can vote for the newest law or legislation being passed.”
            “What? Really?” Mick coughed after a drag, “But, wait, it’s not November!”
            “No…it’s July,” Julia was again confused by what Mick said-he was starting to get annoyed by that look-and he probably looked just as confused as she! After losing his memory from his accident up to a certain unmemorable day ten years ago, he had lost all memory of society’s advancement and changes since. And Julia, bless her, she’s been trying to help him remember but nothing has been coming back.
            “So, has…has the date for Election Day changed?” Mick asked. A light streaming through two metal beams from the elevated train track brightened her face as it hit her. “Oh, you don’t remember,” she said taking a drag of the joint and passing it to Mick. She held her phone in front of her and slowed her pace, she allowed Mick to view the screen as well.
            “Okay, voting is done on mobile devices, there are some devices made specifically for voting, they kinda look like-” she had to think for a moment nearly halting in their tracks, Mick guessed in a deep voice after hitting the joint: “Beepers?”
“Yes! That’s it! Well anyway, the program for voting allows anyone to view the law or proposals, only some voting is for officials into a position. But the position of any office holds a lot less power than what you probably remember,” Julia pointed to the screen. “For most legislation there are several choices: a simple Yes or No, and two others, Create Compromise and Search Compromises.”
“Compromises?” Mick arched an eyebrow.
“Yeah, if you press here,” Julia taped the screen for ‘Search Compromises’. Many newly written or previously written versions of the single legislation being voted on that day, appeared on the screen and could be searched through. The law being debated at the moment was the amount of pollution allowed from the few coal companies left around the world after they were halted in their attempt to detonate explosives to decimate mountains in order to reach ore deep within; while unintentionally causing many health problems to citizens possessing little ability to stop the process. With all the renewable and green energy systems being put into place, the coal companies were a dying and archaic industry. With some use still but the factor of harm to the environment and people became the number one element. Jobs and work, just simply ‘shifted green’. Mick knew this even before the day he only partly remembers-the last day of his clear memories-till he woke up ten years later in a hospital having lived a life he can’t remember.
“Some of these Compromises-” Julia said taking the phone away walking stiff and straight while scrolling through the list, Mick followed dodging a group of people walking the opposite way, some sharing a blunt, “-aren’t compromises at all but a demand for the eradication of coal mining. Ha! Well, I’m fine with setting a bar, we need the energy until we can become less dependent of that sickening stuff.”
Mick looked to Julia as he heard disgust in her voice when she mentioned the ‘sickening stuff’. The opinion, no stronger, the belief he felt from her was concrete-he always knew her to side with humanitarian ideals-as did Mick. “So,” Mick started, “Did I used to vote?” he hated using the past, and Julia thought it weird for him to when-just two weeks ago-he was possibly one of the most well-informed persons she knew.
“Yeah,” she took the last hit of the roach jammed-twisting-it into a potted plant that contained blooming flowers. “When me and Tobias went to your apartment we discovered several things missing, one being your mobile. There may be several reasons someone would take that: Tobias said maybe for a phone number, to check the phone history or maybe the metal materials in it.”
Mick nodded, he seemed to always be in his head-which was filled with questions. Questions not of the crime he was a victim of however, but of this world he lived in and can’t remember, “This voting thing, can’t people-hack into the system and-change the numbers for their personal gain? Or what about the voting days? Are they all the time?”
“Usually once a week, sometimes not at all, the news and the mobile program lets voters know the next voting day and the subject. But the system is secured by hired government workers, they’re monitored as well-y’know-so there’s no foul play. The whole voting system created many permanent programming jobs,” Julia said as they crossed Michigan Ave. “This of course was all made to promote real democracy. Or some form of it.”
“‘Some form of it?’ Sounds like real democracy!” Mick exclaimed to his cousin.
“Yeah, I guess it is better than the old system. It was really corrupt if I remember right,” Julia took a swig of her water bottle and put it back in her hemp bag.
“Well, what’s so wrong with this system?” Mick asked, who was having trouble thinking of a flaw. Especially when anyone can propose anyone’s bill to the public.
            “Sometimes,” Julia started, “A rational voice can be drowned out from all the proposed compromises.”
            “I can understand tha’,” Mick said rubbing his five o’clock shadow when it was three. “Bu-the old system: it was just voting for a representative that could be backed by interests-tha’ many had no idea of. And I remember we promoted that system as a democracy! Really it was a constitutional republic-tha’-tha'-stopped providing justice for us, us citizens. What’s so wrong with this if both local and widespread laws are made by-populous vote?”
            “Its general knowledge,” Julia said explanatory. “Not everyone knows what’s at stake in a law when they are too involved in their own mistakes, worries and dreams to know what would really benefit everyone.” The two continued walking through the sunny day stoned, with Mick trying to remember all he had forgotten.
Justin Vaisnor
(An excerpt from an untitled book I am currently writing)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What is Failure? Part 2

Stu tasted blood and saw red stars go black and only the pain didn’t reside as he opened his eyes to watch the train continue down the track. And now it was too fast, even if he was ten years younger he wouldn’t make it.
            Just as he lifted his head to watch his ride leave him bleeding, aching and penniless: laughter rang out beside him-“Oh, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t’ve laughed.” A young woman said behind her hand, she was still smiling and writhing with mirth looking at Stu’s state. She had dark skin and Stu noticed first that-though filled with laughter after his fall-her eyes were kind.
            “Shou’da made i’,” Stu said digging in his bag of personal affects for a sock to stuff up his nose. “Not ash spry ash I used’a be.”
            “Well you have a great attitude,” the woman said controlling her self and perking up on the wooden bench.
            “What’cha mean?” Asked Stu choosing his black sock and pinching his nose as he stood up.
            “I mean most people would have swore or gotten noticeably upset about missing their train, and not to mention breaking their nose-come sit here for a moment, I’ll watch your case,” she sprung up and swiftly lifted the suitcase to a standing position while Stu sat on the bench in the middle of the platform. The woman turned to him and continued, “Some people would expect help immediately or swear or spit, curse this station the people of the world and-whatever in the world you have in here?”
            She patted the bulging suitcase, which she now sat on, Stu noticed no ring, and spotted her figure being thin and light. The suitcase would tear at the zipper and seams should he sit atop the case. “Books,” Stu said simply massaging his forehead. He asked “Ho’ bad my nose bleedin’?” “You’ll live. And I feel like that’s your attitude, just the feeling you give off. Hughes?”
            “Sorry,” Stu responded.
            “Do you have any Langston Hughes?” She said her hands resting on her thighs holding her bag. Her dark green skirt hanging down just below her knees
            “James Ba’dwin,” Stu replied.
            “Shame, were you trying to catch an appointment? I bet you were, you looked in a hurry. But it’s not so bad to miss something, who ever said it was always good to be somewhere of some imaginary importance, being anywhere-being alive!-that I believe is important,” the woman said, looking pleasant in her wisdom and melancholy sitting atop words written by people that must have shared in forming that piece of knowledge. She shoved that aside, perked up and asked, “It’s useless to ask you where you were heading, but what are you going to do now, were you trying to sell these books earlier? At that book fair?”
            “Sure, n’Y was there yest’rday,” Stu felt safe and fascinated by this woman. Young, he thought, but has age in the way of maturity-independent, he would describe her, but something was wrong with her-and by wrong I mean, wronged: “’nstead of sellin’ some of m’ books, n’Y bought some.  N’Y’m a great sales’an,” she laughed. Stu asked, “Nyu don’ have ta catch’a train do nyu? Or are nyu the t’pe of person ta sit in pub’ic placesh and watch the world go round?”
            “Neither, although I like to do the latter,” she smiled brightly-although, again-Stu noticed a pain behind that. But she was pleasant to look at in her dark blue blouse, her hair was loose and flowing-just above her shoulders. Stu noticed his shirt had some blood on it’s collar, the sock was half drenched too. The bleeding had slowed substantially, only a lesser degree of pain remained.
            “M’ name’s Stu,” he proclaimed.
            “Jessica,” she replied. “The hiding-from-her-rotten-boyfriend-Jessica, well I wish it to be ex-boyfriend. He likes to follow me you see, but I gave him the slip and have been here for an hour. Where were you an hour ago? I could have used a book then.”
            “’Ow abou’ a book now?”
            To Be Continued (I apologize but Part 3 will be in two weeks!) Justin Vaisnor
-Next Week's Fiction Titled: "Voters"

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spunky (Part 1)

By David Marcus Karp

“I don't believe in accidents. There are only encounters in history. There are no accidents.”
-Pablo Picasso

I knew the first time I ever laid my eyes on Spunky that she was the perfect girl for me.
That day is still as clear to me as every yesterday is. Let me paint the picture for you.
I was walking down one of the plain blue and white corridors of the Metropolitan Art Gallery, lit by bright florescent lighting. Windows were scattered here and there, allowing me glimpses of the busy city outside. The old, dark brown wooden floor creaked with every step I took. All seemed calm and normal around me. It was just me and my best friend, Jimmy, who was, at the time, interning there at the Gallery. It was a gig he got when we both got out of art school two seemingly long years ago.
            I had just got out of a meeting with Gil Clayton, a potential sponsor of my work. He was one of the heads of the gallery and, with that, Jimmy’s boss. During the meeting, Clayton seemed really intrigued with the pieces I showed him, along with the things Jimmy had said about me to even get an interview. At the end of the meeting, I was invited to a gala that was taking place that night for some other new artist, and he insisted I should come so we could “discuss a few possibilities”. After a long, nerve wreaking meeting, these were positive words to hear and it made me feel like I was getting a chance to go somewhere with my art.
So, the meeting ended on a good note. I told him I’d try my hardest to make it to the gala and then, a minute later, I was on my way back home to relax, eat lunch and return to my latest painting venture.
            We were about to turn the corner to a staircase that would bring us to the street exit, when I saw her.
            Her tight, denim pants matched her beautiful, dark red hair in color, with a black and white striped belt to hold them to her petite body. She was short, irresistibly cute, and had a smile that would make even the coldest person light up. Her eyes also had a sort of smile to them, and when you looked into them, they made you glow and hoisted you up into the clouds. She had a long, black overcoat on, covering a white shirt which housed a peace symbol on the front of it, with the word “love” written in black below.
            I felt my eyes widen as I caught sight of her, and it made me wonder if she noticed my sudden, shock-filled glance, as she looked back at me and it made my heart feel like it had frozen in time. I felt a bit foolish, but sometimes when you’re stuck in that kind of shock that penetrates the heart and the mind in unison, you lose control of everything for a minute without realizing it until the moment is far from passed.
            Anyway, I was stuck looking at her for a second or two before getting control back of my thoughts. When I did, I quickly turned and went down the staircase, a bit red from embarrassment, to the street exit, catching up the little distance to Jimmy. I could hear her talking to her friend as they walked behind us. Her voice was high, but not squeaky. It had a bounce.
            We walked out the door and onto the street. We were greeted by a beautiful day, with the sun beating down from a cloudless blue sky and there, surrounding us, was the pleasant, cool autumn wind, hinting that winter was not very far away.
            She walked parallel to Jimmy and I for a minute. Her voice seemed at ease as she talked to her friend, a slightly taller blonde girl, about something she seemed excited about. I didn’t catch what it was, but it made her voice glow a bit more, whatever it was. She seemed to be in a happy mood. I waited until she walked a little bit past us, and then I turned to Jimmy.
            “Why can’t I meet someone like that?” I said.
            “Why can’t I meet someone like her?”
            “Like who?”
            I softly gestured to her. “Like her!”
            “Who is she?”
            “I wish I knew, that’s what I’m saying!”
            “You don’t know who she is?”
            “No, I just noticed her when we were walking out of the gallery.”
            Jimmy gave out a bit of a cackle.
            “I can tell,” I said, “She just seems like the kind of girl I would fall for, you know? I mean, she’s cute, sounds like a nice person, likes black, seems happy, and seems…spunky. She might be…I don’t know…like… the girl of my dreams. I can always tell these things.”
            To tell the truth, I could never really tell those kinds of things, and who knew what she was really like if you got to know her. Hell, I DIDN’T know her. But, still, she seemed to have this kind of positive vibe to her, and it was certainly uplifting.
            “Go right now, Seth. Catch up to her and say something!” Jimmy suggested, giving me a little push and then laughing.
            “Funny.” I said. It would have been a different story if we were stuck in an elevator together or in the same waiting room together. Maybe, then, it would seem more logical to me, and I would get the balls to talk to her. But no. Not now.  She was a random person on the street who I just found beautiful and interesting from afar. Running up to her was probably not the greatest idea in the world.
            Jimmy teased me for the rest of the walk home, and as we made our way down the street, the beautiful girl was turning into a distant sight, walking off into the sunlight that was reflected on city windows.
            “I really like that word… spunky.” I said to Jimmy.
            “Yeah, it’s a fun word."
            “Spunky.” I repeated.
            That is the moment I dubbed her the name Spunky. It fit and Jimmy found the infatuation amusing to say the least. I had no idea what her real name was, and was never sure if I’d ever find out but, nevertheless, she seemed spunky. I liked spunky. I deemed her the name Spunky.
            Then we turned the corner, and she was out of my sight and into my memory. That was it; like that she was gone, and life kept on going. We walked home and made some lunch.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

What is Failure? Part 1 by Justin Vaisnor

Pain persisted to shoot up Stu’s left arm as he carried his heavy luggage down the train station platform. The station’s high ceilings had skylights-with a sun shining through-which shone upon the gray concrete and light brown wooden benches. Stu trudged slowly burdened with a bulging sack of his own clothes and other effects over his right shoulder; and a large heavy suitcase full of books, magazines, journals and articles in the increasingly loosening grip of his left hand. The suitcase, heavier than when he first arrived in the city as he picked up a few more products: a collection of Dickens, some National Geographic zines, a few medical journals on the effects of smoking cannabis, and about half a dozen books of poetry. Now the normally rectangular suitcase looked more like a bumpy prolate spheroid and Stu, having missed breakfast on an already empty stomach, had a sudden appetite for eggs.
            Stu had skipped breakfast in order to reach this train in time, just as well though as he was carrying little money with him, for not one of the books he had brought along had been able to sell, and instead, he had blown what little money he had on buying more books. The problem is television and libraries, he thought to himself wincing as the side of the suitcase bumped into his knee, no one owns or wants to own books-if they read them at all! But he had no reason to complain, though this may have been another failed venture of his, it was his favorite by far. He was selling a product that was not only (in his opinion) useful to society, but enjoyable to use himself. Much more enjoyable than the ant farms-which had been broken open in his apartment after having first received them. Books were also somewhat lighter than kitchen cutlery, pots and pans. And he still had no idea what he was thinking trying to sell hard liquor made in his bathtub (that had turned into a three night binge and ending with a nasty wake up call in a stolen car just south of the border in lower California) Stu, lives in St. Louis, Missouri.
            Which is where he was headed just as soon as he reached his train, it stood down the platform to his right on the same rail as another train-bound later for some other city in this unfair country. The pain in his hand and arm made tears well up in Stu’s eyes, but he fought through the pain-BUMP!-the suitcase again slammed into his knee after he had taken a larger step and kicked the case as the train’s whistle sounded two cars and an engine away. His left hand was red and sore, sweaty and loose he limped and dragged his feet forward-Bump!-Bump!-the suitcase hit his knees at each step and he now wished he had searched for a trolley. He was now a train car and engine away from the nearest step for his train. Stu tramped slowly on, though it was as quick as he could bare to go-BUMP!-slip-BANG!-his suitcase hit concrete and toppled on it’s side, but since it’s sides protruded, it rested at a angle to the ground. Stu grunted angrily, shifted his bag to his sore and now useless left arm, stepped over his luggage, which he nearly tripped over, picked it up with his rested right arm using his legs to straighten upright-took a deep breath and continued to tramp on as fast as his legs could carry him-BUMP!-BUMP!-his right knee almost knocked into his other, he slowed his pace as he had forgotten the repercussions for striding forward quickly.
            An engine length away and the train started moving; Stu knew he could still make it! He quickened his pace-BUMP!-BUMP!-DAMNIT! He thought his knees were going to give out, his right hand and arm were growing sore from the swinging bumping and battering from the suitcase of books. The train was starting to gain speed, Stu was losing it, the speed, the ride, the stranding with no money, tears were welling up-out of frustration-he was steps away…
            He could make it if he left the books-he couldn’t toss the suitcase on for he had little strength left and the case was too heavy!-what then?-what! He knew one thing: Dickens, Hemingway, Melville, Plato and Shakespeare, Cervantes and Twain, even Ginsberg and west coast Snyder-they would never give up these books!
            Stu-with what little strength he had-puffed out his chest-swinging his arm back than forward while doing a little skip in his stride, he had enough power, enough speed, but he couldn’t direct his right arm to swing the case right toward the train and up on the steps. Instead, it hit the opening lengthwise and bounded out hitting the platform in front of Stu, who-due to his skipping stride-could not avoid the suitcase in time and tripped on it, falling flat on his face breaking his nose.
To be continued next Fiction Friday!