Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Neither the Lady nor the Tiger                                                                                                                                                                                                          

“Eureka! I’ve found it!,” exclaimed professor Gowski.

“Found what Professor?”

“Look at the video, look at the video and tell me what you see.”

“OK, Nothing. I don’t see anything…. Wait, Oh my god … it’s a….a… Professor, it was a UFO.”

“Keep watching the video, son.”

“Nothing on the video. How long do you want me to keep looking?  Oh wait, here it comes again on the far left of the screen.  IT’S GONE! Professor it disappeared into thin air.”

“No young man, into a worm hole! It came out of one worm hole on the right, and then departed our corner of the universe via a worm hole on the left. And best of all, I have captured the exact location of both the entry and exit worm holes on our observatory’s radio telescope.”

“But Professor, our radio telescope is an old model, It isn’t capable of deep space observation.”

“Exactly! These worm holes are not light-years away. They are just a few hundred thousand miles above the Arctic Circle of our beloved Earth.”

“They’re that close to Earth, Professor?”

“Yes, isn’t it fantastic? We can reach them with existing technology!”

At this point, the head of the United Nations Space Agency, pressed something in his hand to stop the video playback on a super-sized overhead display, and he began to speak. “Now Astronauts of Earth, you know why you have been gathered here. You, the best of the best,  have been selected to represent our planet as we explore the universe, and bring a message of peace to all the inhabitants there of.”

I looked around the room as all assembled started to applaud. Counting myself, there were only two Americans among the astronauts. There were three Chinese, four Russians, an Australian, an Italian, and two women from “This” or “That”-astan. Every one of them was applauding as if the louder and longer you were able to slap your palms together and smile for the camera, the better your chances of making the final cut for a spot on the flight team. I was hardly clapping more than that which would be called “polite.” Because the whole, “Hey let’s all jump in a low orbit supply-shuttle and chase a UFO through a worm hole to who-knows-where idea-- fell flat with me. Sorry my fellow Super Hero’s, but the idea of the Great Unknown doesn’t exactly thrill me.”

That’s why I decided to stay home. I opted out. I became a Space Agency outcast. They retired me early, they tried to screw with me by sending my pension checks to the wrong address, they have even been repeatedly screwing with my medical coverage, but after seventeen years… at least I know one thing. I am still alive. I still go to bed at night next to my wife. Seventeen years and still counting.

As for those dozen Astronauts from around the world, who marched into a recycled, museum-display-space-shuttle, blasting up, up, and away, no one knows what happened to them seventeen years ago when they reached that blank spot in the night sky, that worm hole, and disappeared before you could blink… NEVER to be heard from again?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Channel Surfing                                                                                                                                                                       

I have not yet written today;
a trip to the dentist, then the drug store,
followed by the supermarket, the card store,
finally back to the drug store.
Now it’s getting late,
almost time for another painkiller.
Maybe I’ll wash it down with some Scotch.
Good scotch.
Can’t stand the cheap stuff.
Love the good stuff, one shot, maybe two.
Painkillers in different forms, pills and liquid.
Then maybe I can get something written.

I put on the TV
and look for some inspiration.
I see cops busting bad-guys,
Hawaiian cops and robbers.
I hit Channel-up and some old man is choking to death
on his own phlegm.
Don’t smoke.

Quickly I press Channel-up, again, and again.
Trying to Channel-up far enough—fast enough
to get away from my 30 years of smoking.
I Channel-up so far that I find myself Channel-down…
Channel-down and back in time.
I see Little Joe and Pa and Hoss;
an entire cast of dead people from long ago.

I thank God I’m alive

and I start to write.