FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND DEBT COLLECTORS

The CLOUD CHAMBER

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FAMILY, FRIENDS, and DEBT COLLECTORS

System Greeting

Faun Meadows you have [eleven] unheard messages.

Message One

        Faun, it’s your mother.  Are you avoiding me?  Please call me back as soon as you get this, OK?  Love you.

Message Two

        Yo’, Faun.  It’s me.  Remember?  [laughs]  I put the ‘penis’ in ‘happiness’?  Remember?  Hey, I’m back for awhile, so if you’re ‘open’  [laughs]  let me know.  But don’t make me wait ‘too long’, y’know?  [laughs]

Message Three

        This message is for Faun Meadows.  This is The Loan Ranger dot com.  Your first ‘Fast Loan’ payment is overdue and will result in legal action unless you come current immediately.  Call me back at 1.LOANRANGER.  If you have already made this payment please disregard this message.  Have a Hi-Ho Day.

Message Four

        Faun, this is Daddy.  Your mother called.  Why are you avoiding her?  Don’t make this harder than…

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THE TEMPEST LOUNGE

The CLOUD CHAMBER

crystal brame 1

THE TEMPEST LOUNGE

        This is the city of Tacoma on Washington State’s Puget Sound, thirty miles south of Seattle.  “Tacoma” is a Native American name meaning “that frozen water”.  In the late 19th Century, Tacoma was called the “City of Destiny” because it had been chosen as the western terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad.  This was once the place “where the rails meet the sails”.

        In the beginning of this 21st Century the singer Neko Richelle Case sang of Tacoma in her composition Thrice All American:

It’s a dusty old jewel in the South Puget Sound

where the factories churn

and the timber’s all cut down”.

        That is Peter Giacomo in the maroon-colored Lexus over there, an on-duty Police Commander who has just arrived into the parking lot of The Tempest Lounge.  He is going to surprise his estranged wife Helen.

        He parks.  Peter…

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ECCLESIASTES 20:13

The CLOUD CHAMBER

 220px-Ecclesiastes

ECCLESIASTES 20:13

Hi, I’m a stranger in a familiar land

I wasn’t one of them

I’m not one of you

It’s all in our minds isn’t it?

Money, country, love

Hate seems real, but it isn’t

Death is real, right?

I hear no objections, no contradictions from any dead people

I understand why cultures have worshipped Death

You can count on Death

Everything else is in your mind

Will everything else let you down, betray your trust, and make a fool of you?

Why then should I care?

Who the fuck Adam I?

Sorry, Freudian slip,

Who the fuck I AM?

Sorry, fatigue

Who the fuck is I?

I am waiting for my taxes to be done, on earth as they are in Heaven, in your mind

Devoutly to be wished

What’s that they’re saying now?

“The Server is down”?  Holy Jesus, what the Hell’s next?

I guess I’ll…

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OUT OF THE PARK

The CLOUD CHAMBER

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        Anything is possible.

Few things are probable.

When something transcends probability it is called a miracle.

I died.

I died while you were yet my little girl.  My sweet little “Sassafras”.  And yet I cannot go on past this moment.  I remain with you always.

Life goes on miraculously and with divine cruelty.  I can see you.  I cannot touch you anymore.  Yet I feel you tenderly the way I once felt my very breath.  You cannot see me anymore.  Yet you feel my nudge whenever you lose your way.

I chose you as my light when I died to the world.

I have become your Guardian Angel, my Sassafras, like the ones in those bedtime stories that I used to read to you.

I feel you thinking, “Where was your Guardian Angel, Daddy?”

Daddy’s Guardian Angel was watching the big game with Daddy and I guess Daddy couldn’t…

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THE GOLDEN RULE CLUB

The CLOUD CHAMBER

 rainy windshield 1

THE GOLDEN RULE CLUB

Jo Raye, me, and Fasola Tito are sitting together in my parked truck.  Fasola sits between Jo and me on the bench seat.  Fasola wears a skirt.  Jo smokes a clove cigarette.

It is raining gently but we are warm.  Lady Gaga is singing You and I on the radio, FM 104.3.  Fasola sings along, “…it’s my daddy, Nebraska, and Jesus Christ.”  Fasola is Jo’s Google+ friend from Macedonia, a part of the former Yugoslavia.

I hook my right hand over Fasola’s inner thigh.  Jo hooks her left hand over Fasola’s inner thigh.

Fasola gently lays her hands over our intimate fingers.  She keeps singing and she keeps looking ahead at the big raindrops dashing themselves into silver mandalas against the windshield.

When You and I finishes playing, I reach to the dashboard with my left hand.  I turn the radio to FM…

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THE PILLARS OF HEAVEN

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THE PILLARS OF HEAVEN

I am very nervous.  I adjust my clerical collar again and again and again.  Anuncia Salón – Madam President of the United States of America, Anuncia Salón – has requested The Sacrament of Penance from me before she speaks to the United Nations about the crisis.

I enter the Confessional compartment and sit fidgeting with my crucifix.  I hear her enter into the adjacent Compartment of the Penitent.  God give me courage, my hand is shaking as I open the sliding screen.

I hear her unmistakable voice say, “Forgive me, Father, for I…,” and she hesitates and then she continues, “I have not been to Confession since I was an adolescent.”

I think, “The Politicians’ Creed,” but I say, “Go on Anuncia …, Madam Presi-…, uh, my child,” and so I feel silly and then disrespectful.  Calm down!

Madam President seems to mull…

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THE TANGO LESSON

The CLOUD CHAMBER

slow
                        slow
                                    fast, fast
            slow
Your heartbeat
            Lingers
                        On my
            Fingers.
slow
            slow
                        fast, fast
            slow
Your lips
            Spread soft,
                        Your tongue tastes
            Sweet.
slow
            slow
                        fast, fast
            slow
Kisses
            Caravan
                        Goose-bump
            Traces
All the way
            Down
                        Your
            Oasis.
slow
Oh,
            slow
            Oh,
                        fast, fast
                        Ah, ah,
            slow
            Oh,
slow
Oh,
            slow
            Oh,
                        fast, fast
                        Ah, ah,
            slow
            Oh,
Velvet
            Mask, hard
                        Lesson
            Learn!
Creamy,
            Salty,
                        We both
            Churn.
slow
Oh,
            slow
            Oh,
                        fast, fast
                        Ah, ah,
            slow
            Oh,
slow
Oh,
            faster, faster
            Ah, ah, ah, ah
                        faster, faster
                        Ah, ah, ah, ah
                                    faster, faster

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GRASSHOPPER IN WINTER

The CLOUD CHAMBER

In all the facets of his eyes, with Meadow of the Valley burning green,
The rolling colors up and down the hillside shined, petted by the wind.
Galahad the Grasshopper did thus not need to dream,
Offering to Aesop Ant, in passing, morsels of a leaf that he did love,
From high atop the towering weed, from where his heart did leap,
Called Galahad to him below, “Hey, can you stop, Aesop, my friend, and watch the spring in beauty burn?”

Aesop Ant replied, “Well, meadows do that sort of thing”, and tilting head from toil’s burn,
“You will find the Meadow is not always green,
And what is real is dreadful preparation.  Somehow does the worst upon us always leap.”
Appalled at Aesop’s rude philosophy, cried Galahad into the wind:
“What of Love?”
Aesop Ant just smiled and waved good-bye, “Good luck with Love, a Dream.”

A shadow fell…

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SKUNK IN THE MEADOW

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SKUNK IN THE MEADOW

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        A little skunk lived all alone in the meadow.

        The meadow was home to several families of rabbits but the little skunk lived all alone.

        The meadow was surrounded by housing developments.

        Along the border of the meadow was Coyote Hills Drive.

        Sometimes a coyote stalked the meadow and sometimes the coyote brought to the meadow a cat or a small dog that he had snatched from a backyard in the housing developments.

        The little skunk’s home was in the rain drainage tunnel passing down through the embankment from one of the housing developments.

        The meadow knew infrequent rain and many sunny days.

        In the morning twilight the little skunk would roam in the meadow and sometimes he would travel on the sidewalk along Coyote Hills Drive.

        Sometimes in the morning twilight the little skunk would see a man walking his three dogs. The three dogs would notice the little skunk and they would whine and pull on their leashes yearning to run to the little skunk. The little skunk then would raise his tail straight up and scurry away sweating pungent scent that would fill the meadow and would reach the housing development.

        The man who walked his three dogs in the morning twilight liked animals and so he named the little skunk “Niño”.

        Of course Niño did not know about that name given to him by the man who walked with the three dogs in the morning twilight. The little skunk knew himself as I Am.

        Then there came a winter bearing much rain.

        The meadow flooded and Niño’s home in the rain drainage tunnel was washed out.

        Niño had to flee into the housing development. He was now homeless and had to scurry from one house to another all day and all night, persecuted by people and chased by their dogs.

        People made perfume from skunk glands but they did not want an actual skunk living near them.

        Dogs were intrigued by skunks but they played too roughly and it never ended well.

        One morning in the twilight between rainstorms the man was walking his three dogs. They all recognized the pungent scent belonging to Niño.

        As the man and his three dogs crossed Coyote Hills Drive to the meadow they all noticed something in the road.

        It was Niño.

        Niño was dead. He had been run over by a car traveling along Coyote Hills Drive.

        The man became very sad and he felt helpless. He could only hope Niño’s death had been a quick careless accident and not a lingering intentional cruelty.

        The man and his three dogs returned to their home in the housing development. The man then heated three frozen pot pies for his three surprised dogs.

        After all, guests must be fed at a wake.

        The man then sat down and wrote this eulogy.

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Follow This Link To My AMAZON.com SITE

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Goodies On Demand

The CLOUD CHAMBER

bad candy machine 1

Goodies On Demand

I’m an old piece of coal and this is my fire.

— Reverend Ashlar Jobling

          As a boy I attended Shaddai Vineyards Private Elementary School.  It was a Christian school but anyone with enough money could matriculate.  Did you know that the root of the word “matriculate” was the Latin word “mater”, a word for “breeding female”?  That was told to me by Ruth.

          Ruth, Judith, and Jonah were my best friends at Vineyard.

          My name is Ashlar Jobling.

          Ruth also told me that “Shaddai” meant “The Destroyer”, and “The Self-Sufficient”, and even “The Source of Food for Babies”.  To tell the truth I really didn’t know about all that.  Ruth was always talking to me about descendants and lineage and progeny and marriage.

          Anyway, we had just taken a math test and it was time for lunch.  I saw Beal Perdison, my nemesis…

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