Chapter 9 The Snowman Melts

“Get off me!” Gregson said.

The girl sat-up and pouted.

Gregson picked up his .357 Magnum—it felt light, like all the bullets had been shot.

“Did you empty my rounds?” He asked.

“We did it three times.”

“No. My bullets?”

Before she answered, the door burst open. A man covered in snow, walked in. His beard was white. His skin was albino. His eyes were black, like coals.

“Put some clothes on!”

The girl, smiled. She reached for her pink panties, and slipped on the shoestring. Gregson stood-up in the nude.

“My cheating girlfriend gets a thrill out of sleeping with the next person I kill.”

“What’s your name?” Gregson asked.

“You are different. Most guys caught with their pants down, plead for mercy.”

“Mercy from what?”

“A bullet to the head, what else?”

“Anybody can pull a trigger, and it doesn’t make you worthy.”

“Then what would?”

“Hand-to-hand.”

The Snowman pulled a hunting knife from his scabbard, and grinned. His black blade looked like death.

Gregson brought his hand into the light. His silver knife flashed in the sun. He extended, and their knives clicked. The Snowman struck from above, like a bolt of lightning, and Gregson grabbed his arm, throwing him into the wall.

The girl screamed.

Gregson shifted like dancer, moving one step and then the second—the two-step dance of death—thrusting— impaling the Snowman through his heart.

“Why haven’t I heard of you?” He gasped.

“Because I don’t talk about myself.”

The snowman melted to the floor in his own steamy blood, and Gregson didn’t feel sorry for him. It felt good to kill—to feel the life leaving the body, and the power rushing into the room.

“Put these on! We never got to use them for sex.” Gregson threw the handcuffs in the girl’s direction. “I’ll drop you off with Detective Talbert. God knows, he needs some eye-candy.”

My Time

My motivation when writing about my work experiences

is the hope that the time wasn’t entirely wasted

that I’ll remember something

in those forgettable days

that is worth writing down

or that the time I spent

with the people at work

wasn’t interchangeable

or replaceable.

Basically, I’m looking for redemption

knowing, that I burned through too many days

I was asked once, “How long have you been with us?”

It had been three years, but my manager didn’t know

I stayed because everything became familiar

I stayed because I didn’t know where else to go or what else to do

I stayed

It always shocks me when the people I have gotten used to

take two steps back

when I’m talking to them

It’s an insult—even though nothing is said.

It’s a horror—to think I don’t know the people I spend most of my life with

Many of them—I don’t want to know

and they don’t want to know me.

There is a polite relationship, based-on superficial tasks

that always get done, despite difficulties

and most people want to be well-thought-of

in this system

but they don’t think of each other—

they don’t care

They just want to get by with a minimum of difficulty.

Why am I writing about my work experiences?

It’s the necessity of doing meaningless work that seems insane

I can’t buy anything—other than food and time

because working, costs too much.

the people who won’t let me sleep

I am convinced

that most people are trapped

and they make themselves comfortable

to feel like they’re not.

Their lives are so dull

that they need to manufacture drama

just to feel alive for two seconds

while they pull the strings

on other lives

just as trapped

just as dull

as they are.

If you say the truth enough times

you can’t go on,

but this is only if

you see the truth right in front of you.

A visionary sees the truth that isn’t there

and he lives it, like it is.

Style is important to stay alive

If you can out-last what doesn’t make sense

and do something

that does makes sense to you

You can survive.

We are caught out in the open

with few allies

and many enemies

Friends–might be too tired to help

People are too tired to stand up

too tired for the human touch

automated

burned out and burned up

or just burned

but sleep, will give you a fresh perspective.

Before you decide to

separate yourself

get three days of good sleep

and don’t talk to anybody

the world becomes an inviting place

if you don’t have to walk into it.

No situation is intolerable

with enough sleep,

and the people who won’t let you sleep

should be kept awake forever

I don’t understand people who want to live forever

Don’t they want to sleep and never wake-up?

Why do you think people commit suicide?

To escape from their problems, obviously.

I find that sleeping is a way to kill myself every day

and my resurrection is beautiful

because I don’t care, in the morning

and the people who do care

should sleep more.

I have looked for big ideas…

in small places

in dusty corners

where mice sleep.

Mice play, even if they don’t want to

timing their day

between halls

where they never get lost

running this way

not seeing

through the maze

of their own conditioning

Amazing places, lost

with real rhythms and sounds

The ocean, and the emptiness of space

the wilderness

where man is a stranger

in isolated plains

where the human will

doesn’t need to overcome

other human wills

spider hands

pulling

controlling.

Freedom, is an open field

an expanding universe

and one good idea.

Worn Sunrise

the morning is tired

with dark circles under its eyes

it creeps

into all of us

we don’t want the light

We are haggard

and hungry

for more—

more than the day can give us

and the worn sunrise

rises

like wrinkled hope

on the sheets, of a cloudy bed

Sleepy faces at the gym

are worn

like a bed slept on—too many times

like 10,000 sunrises

forced to rise.

The day

lays claim

to our lives.

The night

spirits us away.

We are sleeping sons and daughters

of death

ready

for our final rest

that will lay us under ground

Our eyes blinking

in the brightest sun

will close

and the red at the backs of our eyes

will be black, forever.

So many questions…

Answers?

None.

We won’t have to wake-up, anymore

Our day

will be done

and the night will take us

under its black beauty.

Joey—My Evil Twin Brother

If you share your brother’s emotions, it can be difficult to know if they belong to you or they belong to him. I was the good son—academically inclined, and more than willing to follow the rules. Joey did what he wanted to do. I could sense his choices before they happened. I could understand his thoughts. I learned algebra and calculus, while he learned how to calculate the spread. I looked a woman in her eyes, and Joey looked up her skirt. Women never understood my intentions, but Joey made them clear immediately.

“When you get off work, we should get off together.”

He was disgusting. I hated to call him my brother. I went to church on Sunday, and he went to the strip club. He told me that he admired beauty, and had more love inside him than 10 men, but it was more like a legion of demons that told him what to do. He listened to the spirits inside and ignored our parents. Middle School was bad, but when we got into High School, and I got my driver’s license, Joey wanted to drive.

“You don’t have a license,” I said.

“Come on, I look just like you. The cops ain’t going to know.”

He was right, and the thought scared me. I bought this red Firebird. Maybe it was my compensation for being too good. Joey was jealous. I could tell. I could feel his emotions. Half-of-the-time I felt possessed by lust, anger, and impulses that didn’t belong to me. Joey grabbed a girl, and felt her behind—and the adrenaline inside my heart made my toes feel like butterflies. I didn’t need to act out. Joey did it for me. And the impulses he had, I resisted. And the goodness in me, he resisted. We should have been one person—free to choose good and evil, but we were separated before birth—knit together in our mother’s womb by God. I don’t know why I am so good and Joey is so bad.

When I woke up, my car was missing. Then I got a phone call.

“Are you the owner of a 1992 Firebird?”

“Yes,” I said.

“It was involved in a hit and run. We found it wrapped around a telephone pole two miles from the accident. The driver wasn’t in the car, but we have video surveillance of the owner running from the scene.”

“Oh, that’s not me. It was my twin brother.”

“Yeah, right. Okay, we’ll have to send a squad car to your house and arrest you.”

“No, really, it wasn’t me.”

“That’s what they all say in prison. And if you ask me, that’s where you are headed, whether you cooperate or not.”

I looked outside the house. Joey was staggering up the driveway with blood dripping from his head, clutching his ribs. At least they can’t pin it on me, I thought.

“Hey man, give your brother some love,” Joey said.

“Did you hit a girl on the road?”

“Oh, I thought that was a deer. Is she alive?”

“Barely.”

“Well, I need you to vouch for me.”

“They have video footage Joey. You’re going to prison.”

“Like hell, I am.”

His booking was routine. I lost my high school car, and my brother was sentenced 10 years. I married a Fundamentalist woman who lives by the word of God. I feel Joey’s emotions in prison—his unreformed heart, but we still get along just fine.

“How’s the wife?” Joey asked.

“She’s on a real pure streak. I’ve had no sex for the last 6 months.”

“Man—I’m getting more sex in prison, than you out-of-prison. Life just ain’t fair, is it?” Joey smiled.

I shuddered to think what might happen when he got out. As the day drew nearer, I could feel the excitement in my bones, but it wasn’t my excitement. I had to go on a business trip and wouldn’t be able to pick-up my brother from prison. “Take an Uber,” I said.

Selling furniture in Nebraska was not exciting, but I started to feel excitement, and then I felt real dread. I drove home. It took two days, and when I got there, my conservative wife greeted me in her underwear.

“I want to thank you hubby—for bringing our marriage back to life.”

The End

The Dog who Loves the Cats of the Night in the Moonlight

The women come around

from time to time

like cats of the night

on the prowl

with wetted lips and sandpaper tongues

that can take the flesh right off

without using their teeth.

The male who knows this

has a healthy respect for their affection

and he doesn’t trade his male-ness

for their attention

He accepts their love, for what it is

a sign of his virility

they want his advice, his calm voice, his manner of not caring, while getting things done

the cats are all scared, and they like the man who doesn’t move

until he does,

they scatter

quickly turning around

wanting to be fed, by instinct.

The man has no worries

inside his perfect days

He is passionate, with enormous impulses

Restrained

Sublimated and Contained

Not emasculated, like most moral men

the cats of the night

know this

and purrr

they want to curl-up

inside his bed,

feeling, his warm air

leaving his lungs.

The man loves the cats of the night

but he also loves to sleep alone

Most religions

frighten men

with outcast status

but when he loves it

and he loves the cats of the night

he is worse than a dog in the moonlight

because, he obeys his nature

and he doesn’t follow written rules.

People in positions of power

recognize

the real thing

and it’s more frightening to them

than all the cats of the night

staring at the moon, in the moonlight

with the dog

that howls for home.

Women are terrified of scared men with power

and they should be.

The dog

shunned, and alone

walks home

to find new cats

of the night

to love.

My Shadow on the Street Corner

My friend always was unconventional—but murder? Some small part of me, somewhere, still loved her, even though, I could hardly see my shadow on the street corner—she had worn me thin.

“Murder?” I asked.

“Do you see any other options?” Andy said.

“What about bargaining?”

“You’ve tried that.”

“What about letting her have what she wants?”

“You won’t be able to pay enough, and you won’t have a moment’s peace. We’re taking about quality of life here.”

“You said there were two options? What’s the second?”

“Death with dignity.”

“Okay, Doctor Kevorkian.” But I could tell he was serious. “So, this is why you never got married.”

“I tried to tell you.”

“I thought you were joking. There’s no way marriage is this bad.”

“That’s right, I explained the statistics, and forgot to make them real for you. What Stalin said is true, ‘One man’s suffering is horrific, but 60 million suffering is a statistic.’ This is why you didn’t heed my advice.”

“Listen man, you’re crazy. I’m going home to make amends with my wife.”

“Suit yourself. I’ve got 18 holes to play.”

And he left. Andy was so selfish, and he had gone-off the deep end. He did everything he could not to work or to get tangled up with women. Whereas, I was a marriage therapist, and married. My social status was so much higher than his. My colleagues approved of me. I was on the right track, but I had a sinking sensation when I watched Andy walk away. I could tell he didn’t care about any of this. I was alone with my thoughts, and they began to torture me. If I could only get along with my wife, everything would be right. So, I went home. I opened the door. It was oddly silent.

I decided to watch football—to prove a point to myself. I could act like a bachelor and still be married.

“Turn that off!” She was standing there, like a monster. Her mascara was running. Her face was red.

“No,” I said. Where did I find the balls to stand-up to my wife? Then I noticed the knife in her hand.

“Turn it off!”

“No!” I backed away. Then she came at me.

“You tried to rape me!”

“What?” I asked.

“You tried to rape me!” And I felt the blade plunge into my kidney. Then I heard her dialing 911.

“Police! Police! Send help! I’ve been attacked!”

I passed out. Then I was in-and-out of consciousness, riding in the back of a police car, in the hospital, then resting in a jail cell.

“Your lawyer will meet with you in one week. You’re getting divorced, and you have been charged with attempted murder.” The big cop walked away and I went back to sleep.

Each day I felt better. Sleep will cure anything. There was a third option Andy wasn’t aware of—jail. It wasn’t so bad. 10 years later when I got out, it was hard to find a job. I was a sex offender, and a taboo to all good women who wanted to protect themselves from a predator like me, but I felt better than ever. I could see my shadow on the street corner, and the sun was shining brightly. A good night’s sleep—a good meal—nature—peace—what more could a man ask for?

The End

My life feels like lost library books…

My life feels like lost library books…

and the fines get larger

and the books I can’t find,

were not worth reading.

It’s kinda like friends—there’s a few, that can influence you

and the others

waste your time.

My circumstances have made me stronger

not because they wanted to

but because I learned what to do

each morning

so that difficulties and insanities make me sharper.

In the end,

this is all that matters.

I don’t think money matters—just as long as you have a quiet place

to make sense of yourself, before entering the day

If you walk into madness too often, without making sense of it

You will become angry,

and nothing will save you.

Who you become

is what matters.

Facing

dead, unfriendly, faces

with style

with a status that requires no comparison

with no attachment

and no need

to say anything—

this is what matters.

People who conquer others

are defeated

inside.

People who need to prove their worth

are poor.

We must overcome ourselves

Self-overcoming is not political office

but contentment

that warms

like a wood stove, on a cold night

It’s a full feeling

so far away from empty

and the world will never understand that.

Chapter 8 What Gregson Found Between His Sheets

Gregson needed approximately two days to recover from chasing a woman and a killer who got away. Detecting is a hard grind—and to stay in the game, one needed to appreciate a soft bed, and a soft lifestyle. Men who are soft are always trying to get hard. Gregson was hard, and he enjoyed soft things—roses, romantic literature, wild women, perfumes, silk sheets, and bubble baths. He drove back to his cabin, and on the way, he got a hot chocolate from a bikini barista that he sipped in the cool mountain air. He licked the foam from his lips, while snowflakes floated out of the sky from nowhere. It was good to be alive.

Most men try to conquer, but Gregson believed all good things would happen by letting them happen. Women were another matter. Gregson thought about getting married, but he loved being a bachelor—this was why, whenever he chased women, they ran away. If he stood still—if he sat on a park bench—if he enjoyed who he was, the women came to him, and they were always unattached, not wanting to get attached—they were like cats—curious about the big man, who would love them, but loved himself more. Some men do what society says, and some men are destined to listen to their own voice. They are incapable of following the crowd—even when they chase after it.

The cabin was half-buried in snow when Gregson got there. He opened the door, and felt a stiff breeze. The wood pile was next to a wood stove and he lit a fire. He stripped off his white and red snowsuit, and got into a hot shower. Soon, his muscles relaxed. Gregson thought he heard the door opening and closing. Then he felt the unmistakable cold air. Someone was in the cabin. He grabbed his .357 Magnum from its leather shoulder-holster hanging next to the shower, and wiped off the mirror, so that he could get an angle into the adjoining room. There was movement. He was totally naked, as he opened the bedroom door. There was the girl from the ski-lift in his silk sheets.

“My, you have a big gun,” she giggled. “I thought it would be big.”

Gregson lowered his barrel.

“Why don’t you get in bed and I’ll relax you?” She giggled.

Gregson did as he was told. Her warm skin pressed against his. He lay on his stomach, and the girl rubbed hot oils onto his back—her golden hair and naked body rubbed against his.

“I thought you didn’t like women,” the girl accused.

“I do—I’ve just been thinking of love.”

“Oh, that’s different,” she said.

Gregson could feel tremors in her hot body. Then, out of the woods, he spotted a man in a white suit, carrying a long hunting rifle. There was in-season hunting, but the man didn’t move like a weekend predator. He embodied violence, walking towards their cabin.

Gregson got excited, and the ski lift babe screamed with pleasure.