Trying Not To Die

“What are you doing in here?”

“Trying not to die.”

“Why are you here?”

“Making sure you don’t die.”

“That is not helpful.”

“Are you dead?”

He glares and says obviously not.

“I am good at a few things, this is one of them. There hasn’t been a time in your life where I haven’t taken a moment to check on you. Blame your grandfather for this.”

“Grandpa isn’t here.”

“Fine, blame me. I was voted the number one enemy of cleveland and the scourge of the midwest.”


“Don’t ask. Just remember to pepper your pike.”

“None of this makes sense.”

“Much of life doesn’t. I will not let you fall any further. If you won’t take my hand then I will grab whatever is easiest to hold on top and drag you back into the day light. Hopefully you choose to work with me, but if not, well 50 isn’t so old.”

Brother Pablo & I Drink

Brother Pablo and I toast each other.

“My friend, your words flow freely around and over the rocks of the river we call life.”

Brother Pablo tilts his head and asks me to try harder.

“You’re getting better my friend, but you need to lay it all out there.”

I smile and let go.

“te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras,
secretamente, entre la sombra y el alma.”

Brother Pablo tells me he is impressed with my accent, even if I have stolen his words.

“Have I borrowed your words and tried hard to sound less like a gringo? más y menos.”

“I am almost impressed, keep pushing Joshua, keep pushing.”


I look around the room and am clearly among the younger people in there. There are a few around my age and some who are definitely younger, but I am clearly among the minority age wise.

It concerns me because this needs to be more of an all hands on deck kind of response and less of “the senior citizens will take care of it.”

The old people are carping about not being able to hear the questions and I am getting irritated because they are talking over everyone instead of quieting down to hear the response to their question.

I am intrigued because I think I could do what the speaker does for a living. This could be a job I would be very good at.

Part of me wonders if I ought to try to get more information about potential opportunities and part of me says now is not the time to make changes of that sort.

Got too many responsibilities and too much pressure to take that on…or do I.

“Pour me another beer Brother Pablo. I need to consider my options and I need to distract myself from speaking with the kind of honesty that leads to major victories or major forest fires.

One More Conversation

“I don’t think you really heard me or understand how important some things are. Don’t think you realize I made some decisions long ago because I couldn’t see how things could go a different way, though I tried many times.

Tried and nothing happened so I said the day would come…””


One more conversation but only after the horses have left the barn and the feather pillows have been emptied of feathers.

They will never be regathered and refilled.

The horses may be recaptured but they’ll never be tamed again and it will only be a while until they find a way to bust open the barn door again.

What is isn’t what was and what could be is a shadow of what should have been.

Unless lightning strikes there are only ghosts walking where people once did.

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