Tag archive for "boston writing"

The Written Word, Short Stories

Remember When….Halftime Speeches Were Full Of Substance?

No Comments 23 August 2012

It was a sunny Saturday afternoon and the Titans had just taken the field for warm-ups in their second game of a highly coveted pre-season tournament at the Tuckertown Sports Complex. They had it all to do.

Senior non-captain Leoj Berth surveyed the field like something out of Greek Mythology, perhaps Dionysis looking for the after party with the best guacamole. The Titans had looked a bit sluggish in their opener and wanted (needed?) a full effort this time out.

As the captains are called out for the coin toss Leoj feels his stomach drop and bolts toward the bathroom for a crap of epic proportions. As he makes his way back – relieved – he notices the game is underway and is anxiously joggs back to take his place on the field.  The dreadful news is turned in to Leoj by assistant coach France Hatchet: “They scored.  We’re down 1-0.”

“What happened?”

“They took the ball right from the kickoff and scored a goal.  Are you ready to go in?”

“Fuck yeah!” cried Leoj.

After Leoj entered the game the Titans attitude began to change from gumdrops and hula-hoop’s to razorblades and vinegar. The Titans were pressing and with the half time whistle approaching they netted the equalizer. Like any team in any sport that goes into a halftime after just tying the game you hope to keep the momentum going and a good speech from your coaches is just the way to do it.

“Ok boys”, France starts off, “First we need to realize how close it is to gametime and plan our bathroom breaks accordingly. You really should know if you have to go to the bathroom before the game starts so you’re not missing any of the game. These aren’t the types of things that just sneak up out of nowhere. STOP DILYDALLYING AND JUST GO ALREADY!”

“Coach, are you referring to the crap I had to take as the game was about to start?” asks Leoj.

“Well, in this instance yes.  But I figured it is something that needs to be addressed before it gets out of hand.”

“I’m 17 and have been crapping on my own now for a good number of years.  Sometimes, like today, craps do kind of sneak up on you. If I hadn’t left when I did I would have had a completely different issue on my hands and in my shorts to take care of. I most certainly would have missed more of the game.” Leoj explains matter of factly.

“It’s ok Leoj.  Craps have been known to sneak up on me from time to time, I think it happens to everybody at least once in their lives.” reassures Chet  L. Nardo, fellow senior non-captain.

Then it was Ryon Yacilogo and Chip Murpy until finally all of the Titans chimed in with the acceptance and realization that any one of them could have been thrust into the same predicament, (do I crap in a toilet and miss a couple of minutes of the game or do I crap in my pants and miss the whole thing), and they began to rise and chant as one. It was then that the ref blew the whistle for the second half to begin.

The opposition looked in disarray throughout the second half and the Titans were able to walk off with the victory. Not only on the scoreboard but internally as they had become the team they knew they had to be for the long and grueling season ahead. The coaching staff had done their job, “Find a way to keep the momentum, turn up the aggression and play as a cohesive unit.”  It all starts with a few words of wisdom and that is one of the many things they were known for.

*Some of the names in this story have been changed to protect those involved.

Reins Hagglemeyer

Reaching A Limit, Then Breaking Through

Reaching a limit, then breaking through (The Third Movement)

No Comments 18 October 2011

In what seemed like hours his hands finished sliding down his face, then his arms flopped to the sides as he stared at them. I’ve never seen a look like that before. Dejection, anger, misery, rage all supported with a lingering sense of motivation.

“I don’t know” he hissed. “This is a deli. You come here, tell me what you want, and I cut. End of story. How do I know what is sausage spicy”. As he said sausage he fingers went up indicating quotation marks.

“I’ve got customers waiting, and you’re holding up the line”. As he mentioned the customers he looked at me and nodded. I nodded back acknowledging I hated this bitch and her antics as well.

We had bonded.

Sally Shithead and her bonehead boyfriend were mortified. Mouths hanging open, they were scared stiff. Not to mention that the girl had been gnawing away on something that was now sticking out of the side of her mouth. It took a few seconds but they came to.

“Fine, forget it. “ she said in a huffy way as she shuffled away. In the distance I could hear them talking about how rude he was and how offended they were. There’s a ridiculous notion…being offended by someone telling you what is actually happening. Being offended when the reality you have created is actually brought to your attention.

Here I was face to face, eye to eye with the man that had haunted me for months, completely in awe of his moxie. He looked at me for a second.

“These people. They come here and have all these questions. How the hell am I supposed to know? You tell me what you want and I cut. I’ve got customers waiting that know what they want. Do you want to spend an hour at the deli counter waiting for someone to make up their mind?”

I shook my head.

He looked off in the distance as the couple made their way past the frozen meat section then looked back at me. In that look we shared a sense of communal suffering that comes with the march of life. We connected. I knew that suffering and felt it often. My hatred melted away. I realized that he and I were the same. He’d just been worn down a little more by life’s erosion. Who’s to say I won’t either?

I ordered my turkey breast and when he heaved it at me I didn’t even want to order a half pound of American cheese even though he lingered.

The Written Word, Analyzing Albert

Analyzing Albert

No Comments 11 October 2011

Have you ever lost a piece of luggage?

“looking for someone to be today,”

should never be the reply

of a man too shy to look and say,


[journal entry dated 4/13/98]


A Letter


To All People Who Have Lost Luggage and Never Received it, especially from LAX Baggage Claim 12, but also from ALB Claim C, CLE Claim E1, JFK Claim 10 and CLR Claim 7:

Do not be mired by this manifesto.  I need you to keep moving to survive.

I truly hate you, but I’d love to become you.  Only I can make you whole; only you can consummate my existence.  I can’t stand to hear you talk, but I’d love to steal your voice.  Only I can make them listen; only you can help me speak.  I vomit when I smell you, but I can’t help dousing myself with your toiletries, and reveling in my own reckless abandon, our own reckless abandon.  I can’t stand the sight of you, but I’ll drape myself in your clothing.  Only I can perfect your image in a mirror all alone; only you can give me identity.

I offer you this not as an apology, but as an explanation.  I am not sorry for what I attempt to set forth in following pages, as you are not sorry for walking out your door wearing a suit bought from a chain store at a local mall.  I just refuse to go shopping.



Albert M. McGuinness

PS – Do not be alarmed by the receipt of this letter.  I am not a stalker.  I truly have no desire to meet you.  I have made no effort to track you down—your baggage tag gave you away.

staring at almost-ancient horsehair

through cracks in plaster walls

 while sunlight gathers outside windows

 opaque with grease.  shall

 i feel at home for a moment, brief

 while my companion sleeps

 for now, over Detroit or LA

 not knowing we  will  meet

 nor will he, when we do.

 I look inside his mind and find:  you.




From the Inside, Out



I remember when it was the sun that would awaken me. I felt awful. The early morning rays ricocheted off the brilliant white overhang under my window, directly into my sleeping eyes, blinding me even before they opened. It was miserable. I would awaken, force myself to squint, and always reconsider starting my day.  Despite my inevitable despondence, each and every day I would flop over in bed to see what God had laid out before me:  Through the window, I watched the people rush in and out of the little cafe across the street, probably hustling to meetings or some other pre-destined targets within their manufactured days.

I used to wish I had a manufactured day.  Just one.  I imagined having a routine might change everything, or at least something. It might make my miserable existence worth continuing.  Although at that point I didn’t have the slightest inkling of the depths of my perversion.

I started working mornings at the liquor store down the street.  I continued to let the sun wake me up, continued to watch the same busy people kick start their days with lattes and national newsprints.  I watched the same clumsy girl in the same loose grey business suit drop her paper trying to tuck it under her arm while sipping her coffee and hailing a cab. The weakness of her left ankle forcing her leg to almost collapse every time she took a sharp corner.

Part II to come Fryday….

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