As a writer, I sometimes struggle to find relevant subject matter to communicate to my audience. Other times, the keyboard cannot keep up with my fingers as words seem to flow from their tips.
With 2011 getting ready to go into the record books and 2012 ready to become a reality, I have spent considerable time deciding what to write. Should I offer 10 ideas for 2012; 10 “life style” ideas for 2012 or perhaps just a short poem or ditty about living in the moment, happiness, health, prosperity and all that good stuff?
I decided against this. It seemed as if it “had been done” and certainly done better better than I could by such notables as Henry James, Faulkner and Updike to name a few.
In addition to my bowling consulting work, bowling operator work and motivational speaker, I have taken to writing short stories, poems and, for other new clients, even speeches. Like my bowling business, I get great fulfillment in writing.
So today I am going to take a chance. I am going to share a short story, actually a very short story, I wrote and submitted for publication (which is pending approval) to a noteworthy magazine. It has nothing to do with bowling, but everything to do with “a moment in time” and a greater insight into what my friends and colleagues have said is my “weirdly eclectic mind set.”
Here it is. I hope you like it and I hope you comment on it
There’s a Reason I Missed My Train
By one minute, I had just missed my Amtrak train #55 to New York City. Realizing that I had no juice left in my cell phone to call home, I wandered Boston’s South Station, forgetfully dragging my charger, trying to find an outlet that worked, but to no avail. Spotting a woman charging her phone in a double outlet, I approached and asked if I could use the other outlet. Smiling politely, she said, “Sure, why not?” As I plugged the phone into the charger and the charger into the rusted outlet, I realized that she and the man standing near her, but not close to her, were together. They looked to be in no hurry. No hurry whatsoever.
We began with some small talk about travel and the places we had been. After a very noticeable pause, turning hard to look at me, almost through me, and clear out of the blue she said, “I saw the white light and then saw the beauty and glow of Jesus; more spectacularly than I ever could have imagined”. As she completed her sentence, and for what seemed like a lifetime, her eyes closed and she began to rock back and forth. So unexpected was this sequence of word and movement that I found myself trying to catch my breath. For a moment, an instant really, time stood perfectly still. When she opened her eyes and stopped rocking she said, “It was right after an intentional hit and run accident on me.”
Continuing, she said that “Jesus asked her to come with him”. “But”, she said, “I told him I was too young to die” and he said, “Go. Your wish is granted, but you will see me some other time”. She said, she had survived breast cancer, colon cancer and is now homeless. “I am still here”, she said, through her dark liquid eyes and, oh so tellingly, hard to find smile.
The small slender man who had been standing with her was eerily silent and, while busily rolling a cigarette, was watching me intently through eyes so sunken and so engulfed in dark circles, he reminded me of someone I knew a long time ago who had just barely survived a nasty street fight. Almost tempted to ask him what had happened to his eyes, I quickly thought the better of it and held my piece. Silently, I said to myself, “I hope to God you were protecting her”, but I already knew the answer when he reached out his hand and introduced himself to me.
His name was Dale. He was her husband. Her name was Pat. They met in Church. “Been together for seven years and married for four years”, he said. He helped her, said, “To get off smoking crack and being a prostitute”.
Tonight they were going to their special place to sleep and then, tomorrow, they would get up and do what they needed to do; find food and find a safe place to sleep. They would endlessly repeat these tasks, I thought, until the Universe brought them the opportunity to change their lives, but only if they could see “the change” they were praying for and then capture it for all it was worth.
We said our “goodbyes” and “be safe” words to each other and then they were gone. Walking toward my train, I sadly thought, maybe she should have gone with Jesus.
. Boston, MA 9.1.11.
May the New Year bring you all you wish for and all you desire.