Peri checked her watch as she crawled along the freeway with the commuters. Like most inland towns, Walnut Ridge was lived in, not worked in. The residents left in the early morning, and drove south to Orange County, or west to Los Angeles. Their journey home began around three in the afternoon and lasted past six.
Four o’clock meant she was in the middle of traffic sludge.
If a Jewish pirate decided to retire to the Bronx, he and his wife, who was also a pirate, would probably be a lot like my Great Aunt and Uncle, Gussie and Harry.
Aunt Gussie had a black plastic patch over one lens of her glasses, Uncle Harry walked with a limp, they had a large green parrot that shouted curses in Yiddish. Their house was the perfect place to store treasure, a tall castle in a nearly deserted area at the end of the city. It was protected by thick, thorny bushes and by a screechy copper-colored dragon. To get there you took a train that few people knew about, a train you could board only if you knew the secret entrance.
Chapter One: The Last Man on Earth Watches Blazing Saddles
It’s his favorite scene.
The cowboys rise and fart, rise and fart, and he thinks of his wife farting in the night. He never laughed when she did. Most of the time he was asleep when she started and half asleep when she finished. He realizes now, perhaps for the first time, that it’s hard to laugh in your sleep. He can’t remember ever laughing in his sleep, but when he would tell his wife in the morning about her farting, she would smile and say excuse me and fart again.
They would both laugh over that in the morning, and smiling now he turns again to the cowboys.
Another late morning, another guilt trip. Midday already and I’ve wasted yet another morning. A good four hours I could have spent practicing, even writing a new song maybe, who knows. That’s what moving from the Windy City to the Sunshine State does to you. It changes you from a creature of habit with a regular schedule into a lizard sunning itself on the beach day in and day out, only truly waking up at sundown and spending the night consuming illicit substances that expand your mind and open your eyes to new worlds of possibilities. Jim assures me that there’s nothing wrong with any of that. He tells me that I’m going through the gestation process, and that when the time is right, the music will come pouring out of me. He says the guilt thing is the result of my Catholic upbringing.
“I see a man in your future. And somewhere, death.” Two houses down the beach, Sabine’s friend Cecilia pores over a veneer coffee table wearing a long skirt made from faded bell-bottom jeans with a tie-dyed peasant top and red bandana around her forehead, focusing. “Not in the immediate sense, you know. It could be someone around you. Or even a tree on your property.” She looks up.
Author of the bestselling collection,Endless: A Literate Passion (Saint Julian Press), Anne Tammel began Poets and Dreamers following a transformative journey throughout the Mediterranean. Featured in CBS Los Angeles, Poets and Dreamers has evolved into a worldwide circle of wise and creative authors, artists, poets, and dreamers who encourage wise creative experimentation while supporting the fruition of artistic pursuits.