Tag Archives: writing

The Show Must Go On

1 May

show

Pamela worked for the reality television show Gotchya! The premise was simple. The producers would field requests from doubtful girlfriends to test the fidelity of their boyfriends. Pamela´s job was to be the bait. Pamela was a gorgeous woman. Even in real life she looked as though she was being photo shopped at any given moment. The show was a smash hit. Part of its success was the phenomenon that was Pamela. The other part was propensity for people to shut off their intellect and have their most base emotions tickled.

Pamela got her latest assignment. She was to seduce a young man named Ari. Ari was engaged and set to be married in a few months. His girlfriend was having unfounded suspicions, probably brought on by her own obsession with the program. Pamela´s intel told her that Ari liked to have a drink with his coworkers for around an hour every Wednesday after work. The sting was to go down in one month.

Pamela had a peculiar interest in this case. For one, Ari was an extremely handsome man. He had a fascinating background as well. He was a fighter in the Israeli special forces before coming to America and earning his business degree then MBA from a top school. Pamela poured over his files religiously after her mandatory two large glasses a wine every day. She could not get Ari out of her mind. She found herself mouthing his name randomly throughout the day.

The month passed and the set up was to go down the next day. Pamela was extraordinarily nervous. She could not sleep. She was confused by these feelings she was having. To make her job easier, she assumed the marks she was to set up were all cheating scum bags, guilty before proven innocent. She could not get into that mind set this time.

The day of the encounter, she took extra care in dolling herself up. Even the van driver took notice and told her that she was exceptionally beautiful that day. She shrugged off the compliments with a nervous smile. The bar had been previously wired for video and audio. The owner could not dream of turning down this free exposure on a hit TV show. She herself got wired up in the van. The producers noticed she was out of sorts. She convinced them it was nothing and was on her way.

As she sat down at the bar she immediately noticed Ari a few seats down. He was impeccably dressed as were the four gentlemen with him. “This looks like a goddamned Gucci perfume commercial” she thought to herself. As she normally did, she sent over a round of drinks. When the group of men asked who was the generous soul, the bar tender gave a nod in Pamela´s direction.

“My God!” said Mike, a handsome, single accounts manager. “I got this” he added with a smirk as he approached the beautiful woman.

“Thank you for the drinks, from all of us” Mike said.

“No problem” Pamela answered.

“You have a boyfriend?” he asked.

“No” she answered.

“Want one?” Mike asked, playfully.

“Sure, doesn´t every woman?” she flirted back. “I could see myself with the guy in the grey jacket and glasses” she smiled, referring to Ari.

“Oh, Ari? He´s taken. Gonna tie the knot soon”

“What a pity” she said adding “Well, maybe he and I could just have a little fun then. I won´t even be in town that long anyway”

“Good luck. Ari is so in love with his fiancé, I don´t even think he…..if you know what I mean” Mike said chuckling and he made a fist and moved his hand in an up and down fashion.

“We´ll see, could you call him over here, please?” she asked.

“Sure” Mike said as he whistled and motioned for Ari to come over.

“This young lady would like to say hi, Ari” Mike said before going back to the group.

“Hello, I´m Ari” he said.

“I know, Mike told me all about you. I´m Samantha” she said. She always used an alias for the show.

“Nice to meet you, thanks for the drink. I think I´m gonna get back to the group. Would you like to join us? A lot of shop talk but I am sure we can come up with another topic on your behalf” he said.

“No, I am only interested in one man at a time” she said, running her index finger down his chest.

“Oh, I´m very sorry. I am engaged. Did Mike tell you he´s single? He is a really good guy, too” Ari said.

“I am very good at keeping secrets. Besides, Mike is not my type, you are” she said, trying her best. This is the point where ninety percent of the marks melt. Ari was not budging. She could sense it.

“I´m sorry, I´m just, I mean, I´m not that guy. I love my fiancé” he said. He was so stoic, yet so empathetic for Pamela that it was making her crazy. Crazy for him.

“Are you sure? I won´t even be in town for long. I will be long and so will our little secret” she insisted.

A big smile flashed on Ari´s face “I am. I am very sure. But again, you can join us. Have a laugh with us. You don´t have to sit here alone.

“That´s ok. I was just leaving” she said. Pamela was crushed. Not because the mark didn´t take the bait. That has happened before and those shows were just as popular as the ones where the mark took the bait. She was personally crushed. She went out to the production van and told them it was a no go. The producers were thrilled. They told her they had enough footage and that this episode would be a smash hit. The hot, young successful businessman, faithful!

The production team wanted to shoot the reveal and get the parties involved to sign waivers so their likeliness could be shown on the program. Pamela refused to be part of the reveal. After some heated debate, the producers agreed to film the reveal without her.

That night Pamela could not sleep. She tossed and turned and Ari´s big smile kept flashing before her eyes. She could not get him off her mind. Around two in the morning and a bottle and a half of Merlot later she found herself calling Ari´s cell phone. When he answered, she hung up. She did this for half a dozen times. She forgot to block her number.

A half hour she received a call from Ari´s phone. She hesitated to answer. She had no idea what she was going to say. Finally she swiped right.

“Hello?” she said.

“Who is this? Why are you calling my boyfriend?” a woman´s voice asked.

A stroke of what Pamela thought was genius crossed her mind. “I´m Sarah. I served with Ari in the Israeli army. We used to hook up back then. I´ve been in town for the past four months and we have been hooking up almost every day since. For old times sake”

There was only a gasp from the other line. The phone hung up. “What did I just do?” Pamela asked herself.

Months went by and Pamela´s obsession subsided. So did the national scandal her actions caused. The scandal only made the show more popular, though. Pamela was made a host of the show. She became so famous that there was no way she could pull off a sting again. Pamela hired a private investigator to catch up on Ari. He was happily married.

One night, as she was halfway done with her second glass of wine there was a knock on her door. She thought it strange, the protocol for visitors in her building had the doorman call before sending a guest up. The knocking was insistent.

She opened the door. Two olive skinned men pushed their way in. “What is this” she gasped.

“Be quiet” one of them said with a thick accent as the other put a gloved hand over her mouth.

“This is for a friend” he said as he produced a silenced IMI 9mm Uzi.

Pamela didn´t hear or feel a thing.

 

 

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Home Is For The Birds

28 Jul

birds

Pilot and Skye had a beautiful home, high up in the trunk of a dead tree. A wood pecker hollowed out an already rotting part in search of a meal. He found what he was looking for and abandoned the site when the food ran out. It was  a perfect home for a young couple of swallows.

One day Pilot went out to look for some food. He gave Skye a kiss on the beak and went his way. He flew almost a full mile until he found a promising location. He looked around for a perch to assess the area. He saw a branch with a wide angle view of the ground below.

Already on the branch was a beautiful female swallow.  Pilot thought he should maybe find another branch but she waved him over with a wink.

“Hello” she said.

“Hello” Pilot said.

“Name´s Libi” she said.

“I´m Pilot” he said, blushing.

“That´s a strong name. Are you a strong bird?” Libi asked.

“Well, not really, I guess I can be” he answered. Libi stayed quite. She knew that silence can drive a male mad.

Pilot´s mind raced, searching for something to say, to break the deafening silence. All he could come up was, “Do you live close?”

“Close to what?” Libi giggled. Pilot blushed again. Libi leaned over and kissed him on the beak. An explosion of emotions rushed over Pilot. The thought that rose to the top was “What am I doing?”

Swallows are hard wired for monogamy. They take a mate for life. This went against thousands of years of evolution.

Pilot pulled away. “I cannot do this! I already have a female”

Libi said with a devilish look, “You do and you don´t now”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, the moment you return home, your “ex” will smell my pheromones on you, so you don´t. But, you have me now” she said.

Pilot wanted to protest but he couldn´t. She was right. Dejected, Pilot asked “Where do you live?”

“I don´t have a home, dear” she answered. “You have to make one for us”

“Oh great…” Pilot thought.

Over the course of a week Pilot made a home just as good as the one he left.  Two days after, Libi kicked him out.

“I thought we were going to be together forever” Pilot said.

“That´s so old fashioned. That instinct must have passed over me” Libi said.

“What am I going to do?” Pilot cried.

“I don´t know. Do the same as the others. Go crawling back to your old home” Libi said.

“Others?” Pilot asked.

“Yeah, the others that I tricked into building me a house. I´m just going to flip it for some quick cash” Libi said.

Pilot wanted revenge but realized this would just get more of her pheromones on him. In fact, he was so busy working, he hadn´t had contact with Libi for days. He flew off to see if he could get his life back.

Good Bye!

21 Jul

Good Bye

As Helen lay motionless in her hospital bed, Walter sat by her side with her slender lifeless hand in his. This scene has repeated itself for the better part of the last year. Helen had a slip in the shower and has been in a coma ever since. Walter holds out hope that she will wake up but deep down he knows the chances are slim. Walter hadn´t told Helen he loved her before the accident for such a long time that he cannot even recall the last time. This regret grinds in his heart.

Sitting in a silent hospital room with the woman he has shared the vast majority of his life has been somewhat of a medidative experience. Memories have come up that he hasn´t thought about since the event occurred. The actual occurances may be slightly curved by the glass of time but to him they happened exactly as he remembered them.

He remembers before shipping off to Europe, the nights they spent trying to be in each other’s company for each moment possible. They would go to the dankest bars as they were the only establishments open into the late hours. Neither drank a drop of alcohol. They just sat in a corner, hands stacked on top of one another regaling each other with stories of the few years they had been on the planet. Now that they have lived many more years and have many more stories to tell, he would give anything to be able to sit in the corner of a dark smokey bar and relive them with Helen.

Like clockwork the nurse comes in to change Helen´s bed clothes. Walter can´t help but feel the pity emanating from her. They have their usual small talk. Then Walter, very uncharacteristically, goes into the story of their wedding day. Although the nurse had a lot of work to do, she was enthralled by Walter´s recollection of this grand, beautiful day. Twenty minutes later, Walter realizes that he was holding her up, apologizes and sends her on her way. The nurse assured him he need not apologize and tried to hide the fact that tears were falling down her cheeks.

The next day, the same thing happened. The nurse came in for her usual checkups and tidying, small talk was exchanged and Walter regaled her with the story of when he returned from the war and how he and Helen celebrated being in each other´s company after such a long, arduous time apart. Once again, the nurse unsuccessfully tried to mask her tears and went ahead with her rounds.

This repeated itself for the good part of a month. The nurse would come in to do her job and it got to the point she would expect a story. She even kept extra tissues in her waist pockets. Walter started to look forward to the nurse´s visits.

One day, Walter checked his watch. It was around a half hour until the scheduled nurse visit. As he sat in his medidative state, reliving years gone by, Helen´s head turned towards him. Walter almost fell out of his chair. This was the first movement of Helen, by Helen since the accident. The slightest smile came to her face. Her cloudy eyes cleared for a moment and they pierced those of Walter. She stared mouthing something inaudibly. Walter put his ear to her mouth to hear what she was saying. There was no sound.

Walter knew this was his last chance. He looked into her clear, blue eyes and said “Helen, you are my everything. You gave me three great sons. You made a beautiful home for us. Without you, I don´t know how I could have had a happier life” he saw her eyes clouding again, he continued though the words were breaking up in his throat “Helen, I love you. I always loved you. I will always love you. I´m so sorry I didn´t tell you more often. I´m so…..” The machine Helen was hooked up to let out a piercing beep.

Walter could barely make her out through the tears; the nurse who he told his stories to ran in. “Walter, please go into the hall” she said, sternly but with care and love in her voice.

“But….” Walter resisted.

“Please” she answered. Walter acquiesced.

As he stood in the hall, his legs were so weak he could not stand. Not even after the biggest atrocities he saw in Europe did he cry with such force. Between sobs, he cried to the heavens how much he loved Helen in hopes that her spirit would hear him.

The nurse came into the hall and gave Walter the bad news. Helen was gone. All Walter could think was that he was soon to follow. He felt some relief in knowing that Helen left him knowing how much he loved her.

Pig Deal!

17 Jul

pigs

Sammy and Frankie were at the slop trough. Frankie could tell Sammy was upset. He usually had his snout deep in the slop. Sammy was barely pecking away at the day´s offerings.

“What´s wrong Sammy?” Frankie asked.

“Phil wants to fight before sundown” Sammy said.

“What happened?” Frankie asked.

“Nothing really. Sara, his girlfriend, just got done rolling in the mud and she looked good. I mean real fine. But I wasn´t disrespectful or nothing” Sammy said.

“What´d you say Sammy?” Frankie said with a worried look on his face. “You know how Phil is!”

“I just said ‘looking good, Sara’, that´s all, I swear” Sammy said.

“Man, you know not to do that. Phil is a hot head. He´s gonna kick your ass you know?” Frankie said.

“Yeah, I know. But I didn’t mean nothing by it. She just looked so fine. I felt like she pulled those words out of my mouth” Sammy said.

There was a sudden stir in the pen. Farmer John entered the pen with a rope. He was walking funny as he tends to do when he´s been drinking. He forgot to close the gate behind him. He went right for Phil who was sunning himself on the far end of the pen. He must not have heard the commotion because he didn´t move.

As Farmer John got closer Phil figured out what was going on. Before he knew it the rope was around his neck and immediately cinched tight. He recoiled in horror. Farmer John was drunk but the whiskey only diluted his judgment, not his strength.

“Should we help him Sammy?” Frankie said.

“Well, I´ll get out of an ass kicking if Farmer John takes him away” Sammy pondered.

“That´s not right. We always help each other when we can. Look, the gates open. It´s only him. His helpers ain´t around. We can all make it” Frankie said.

“Ok” Sammy agreed.

Frankie and Sammy trotted up to the back side of Farmer John. Phil felt some relief. For a moment he felt he could be saved.

“Go” said Frankie and with that the two pigs took as big of bites as they possibly could out of the back of Farmer John´s thighs. Farmer John screamed in agony and fell to the mud.

“Run” Sammy said to the stunned Phil. “The gate. It´s open! Run to the gate”

The three pigs ran for the gate and the others followed suit. Phil checked to see if Sara was in tow. She was. He caught a glimpse of Sammie doing the same.

As they made their way to the tree line Sammy turned to Phil and asked “Are we cool?”

Phil looked at him and said “I´m still gonna kick your ass. But we cool”

On Meditation

14 Jul

meditation

I am going to keep this piece very informal. I usually write short fiction stories but this subject has been so important to me as of late, I thought I would write about it. If it reaches one person and helps them, I will be elated. The subject is meditation. I have been doing it consistently now for over four months. In no way am I an expert. I can only express what someone who has done something for a miniscule period of time can. In this piece, I hope to cover the Why, How, What Happened.

Why:

I can´t explain why but I have always been drawn to meditation or at least the sexy idea of meditation. Something about being able to meld your mind with the fabric of the universe was very titillating to me. Of course, as you will read, this may never actually happen but I can tell you in my short time practicing, I feel I have gotten close. Over the past two decades every few months or so I would tell myself I would make meditation a staple in my life. I would either read a book, pre internet, or listen to guided meditations, post internet. I would “meditate” here or there and not have a plan. I really didn´t know for meditation to give results, consistency is the key.

The last push to make a plan and stick with it was given by none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was a guest on the Tim Ferris Podcast, a motivational show that gives life hacking tips and has effective people as guests. Arnold described a time in his life that I related too. A time where his thoughts were jumbled and his life felt hectic and out of control. He was having success in his ventures but he was having difficulty putting it all together and making sense of it all. He said that one thing and one thing only put him on track and kept him there. Transcendental Meditation. He used TM for exactly one year and stopped. It was enough to right the ship and sail into one of the most successful careers the world has ever seen. Although my practice is not TM per se, I read extensively about it and have adopted some of its principles.

How:

Let´s get to it. The how. What do I do? Just sit there? Summon spirits and demons from other realms. Yes and no. Well, maybe to the second question. I shall explain. What I do is sit down for a period of time, usually 10-15 minutes, the most 20 minutes but that is rare. I do this two times a day, once as soon as I wake and another close to bed time. When I started I used a mantra that I got from the internet. Mine was “Enga”. I have no idea what it means, I just like the way it sounds and vibrates. The mantra is simply an anchor. When you meditate, you do not think about anything. That is the point. To think about nothing. This is where the mantra enters. You focus on the mantra. I mentalized the mantra on out breaths. I breath in, and as I breath out I would think the mantra and feel it vibrate in my head. When your mind wanders and it will, your bring your attention back to the mantra.

I have since started simply focusing on my breath and have similar results. Start thinking about your childhood? Breathe. Bring your attention back to your breath. Start thinking about that bill that is late? Breathe. Bring your attention back to your breath. That´s it. You don´t pontificate the nature of reality, the reason for your existence or anything. It´s just focused attention for a few moments per day. How is this beneficial? Shouldn´t I come in contact with the spirit world or have a chat with God? I will try to scratch the surface of that later. I am afraid I cannot even put into words the benefits, but I will try.

I know a lot of people get hung up on sitting posture. There is no need to. Just make sure you are comfortable but not so comfortable that you go to sleep. Some people can meditate laying down. I cannot. I will go to sleep. I use a “meditation chair”. It looks like the letter “L” with a pad for the butt. I will admit, I made the investment almost to guarantee that I would stick with meditation for a period of time. I used my cheapness to my advantage. I knew if I spent that money, I would force myself to do it. This worked but by no means do you need fancy pillows or chairs. Before the chair arrived in the mail, I was sitting on a folded blanket and propped my back up on a wall. I had great results.

I have done some experimenting as well. I have used guided meditations with great results. I like the ones called “body scans”. The narrator will have you focus on the different parts of your body and relaxing them. I´ve had some sessions that left me extremely relaxed. There is an app on my phone that I use called Insight Timer. It is a free app. It works as a timer, as the name implies, but there is a wonderful array of guided meditations to follow. Another advantage is that it keeps stats. I love stats, you may or may not. If you don´t, I am pretty sure you can turn this feature off. Even if you cannot, just ignore them!

Another thing I experiment with is binaural beats. I won´t go into what these exactly are. That would be well beyond my pay grade. The Wiki page explains them perfectly. Pretty much, they produce a sound that affects the way you brain functions. Again, Google my friend. I feel I have had pretty good results from these as well. Different frequencies will produce different results such as, relaxation, contemplation, creativity, euphoria, just to name a few. Again, do your research but I recommend them.

What Happened:

So now that you see how easy it is, let´s talk a little about what happens. Of course, results will vary, ask your doctor…oh, wait. The scientific community is pretty much in unison that meditation is beneficial. A simple Google search will give more information on this than you could read in a few incarnations.

First thing I need to express because I saw other people had the same reaction. For the first few days, I actually felt more irritable than usual. I just felt like I was in a really bad mood. Again, this was only for the first few days. It passed and has never happened again.

During the first few weeks, I had some absolutely sublime revelations. They are personal and not Earth shattering so I feel no need to share them here. These have subsided though. They would happen the moment I brought my attention back after it had wandered off. I would label the thought “Past”, “Desire”, “Utility”, etc. and as I realized my mind was wandering and I brought it back either to the mantra or my breath, BAM, I was hit with a deep thought that would resonate with me for days.

Overall I feel more calm in control. I have become a better father to my three year old daughter. How, you ask? Because I don´t lose my temper. Here is one of those places I fear my words will fail me, but I will try to explain. I feel like I understand her more and therefore an action that would anger me in the past does not because I see it for what it is. Maybe she is just exploring her world. That´s why she knocked over the cup of juice, on purpose. Maybe she is just exploring limits, that´s why she continues to bang on the plate after I had asked three times to stop. Also, again, it is hard to explain, I just feel overall more patient. If I miss more than one day of meditation, this is very rare, I feel a little anxiety and a little out of control. This may or may not be some kind of placebo effect but as soon as I get a session in, all feels normal again.

Another thing that I have not really read anywhere else but I have experienced is increased memory. When I read books and watched movies or television series in the past, I would pretty much forget everything, pre meditation days. I have read East of Eden three times and every time felt like the first time. I watched all of Breaking Bad. I loved it. Ask me something about it. I cannot answer it. Now I seem to be able to recall plot points and other details better after viewing something. I think it may be a function of training the mind to be more present and training focus.

I am very early on in this journey. I may write a follow up to this piece a few months from now. I may be able to articulate myself even better or maybe not. I hope if you take anything away from reading this it is, meditation is simple, you can do it, there are many benefits and consistency is key. In fact, it is probably the most important factor. It´s not how you sit, what you mantra is, if you are burning fancy incense. The most important thing is that you are doing it and doing it consistently. At least once daily, preferably twice.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments section. I will do my best to answer them. You can also e-mail me. There is a Contact page with my information. I feel that mediation is so important that it should be taught early and often. Kids should be taught meditation, now more than ever. With so many things fighting a war for attention, the loser is attention. It gets so spread thin it is rendered almost useless. Meditation is a way to own your attention and bring it back to health.

Questions Answered

26 May

daddy

Reed stood in his large office with his glare fixed on Central Park through the plate glass window as he was apt to do right after lunch. The same thought, like clockwork, echoed through his mind as it always did at this time. “How did I get here?” was the resounding question.

Reed came from two parents that stayed together for his sake although it was probably more damaging for them to have done so. He had no guidance growing up. He had no positive role model to follow. The role models he did have to follow, if he had followed them, would not have led him to this current location in time and space. He was deathly aware of this.

Reed had the fortune of having a professor at his local community college take an interest in him. This professor recognized that Reed had potential. He took him under his wing and when he felt it was time, unleashed him unto to the world. Reed has since been directly responsible for creating at least 1000 jobs in the metro New York area, indirectly 1000´s more and generating countless millions of dollars in wealth.

None of these accomplishments satiated Reed. He still felt like the kid in class with the cheapest sneakers despite wearing thousand dollar shoes. He still felt like the kid cut from the high school football team despite funding three local high school´s football programs for over a decade. He still felt like the kid who was rejected by the only girl he had a crush on in all his short pubescent years despite being pursued by some of the most beautiful women New York high society has to offer.

He felt empty. He felt he had to do something with his life.

One morning on his way into the office he was listening to an interview with a musician he had liked since he was a kid. The interviewee went on about an experience he had in the jungles of Peru. He had taken a substance called Ayahuasca, a hallucinogen made from jungle plants, and he had a profound life changing, spiritual experience.

Reed felt this was just what he needed to find what it was that he was looking for. He briefed his secretary, Meredith, on his wish and gave her the order to book a trip. He also asked her to book herself on the trip because she was going along with him. She was taken aback at first but she soon warmed to the idea.

Due to the popularity of the interview Reed had heard, trips of this nature were booked for months in advance. He only wanted the best retreat so he obliged to wait ten months. Knowing this was to be a life changing experience he wanted to get closer to his travel companion. He and Meredith decided to have dinner at least once a week, twice if schedule permitted, to get to know each other a little better. Clear ground rules were laid down as to the platonic nature of the encounters.

Due to Reed´s charm and aided by Meredith’s stunning good looks, those rules went right out the window. On the third dinner they could not keep their hands off each other as they went to say goodbye. From that encounter on, they followed each dinner with a trip to a five star hotel where they would take out their lust on one another.

Two months into this situation, Meredith stopped getting her period. She was pregnant. There was no doubt in her mind as to who was the father. Reed´s mind was not so free of doubt. He fathomed, if he could have her so easily and her being as attractive as she was, surely there was a line of suitors.

This doubt did not stop Reed from financially supporting Meredith’s pregnancy, but it held him back emotionally. He kept her at a distance. The months went by and Meredith’s belly grew.

Meredith came into Reed´s office with some news from the doctor. She explained that the doctor was afraid there were some complications and that a cesarean section was to be performed instead of a natural birth. There was even a chance the baby, Meredith or both would not make it. Reed felt a shameful wave of relief and it made him sick.

The day came for the baby to arrive. Reed had everything arranged but was not planning on being present for the delivery. At the last minute he got in a cab and made it to the hospital on time. Meredith was in the operating room. Reed was prepped and allowed in. The doctor kept asking Reed if he wanted to see the work in progress. He said no thank you and stayed by Meredith’s head. She did not look so well. Tears were streaming down her eyes though she was not visibly sad or in pain.

Reed picked Meredith’s limp hand off the bed and held it. He looked at her and felt pity. How did he get here, he asked himself. A sharp cry pierced the air. It was the baby. He, as the doctor informed them, was born.

Reed´s first thought was that it looked nothing like him. Of course, like most new borns, it barely looked like a human. Some of the monitors that Meredith was hooked up to started to make awful sounds. Even though Reed did not understand the beeps and the flashes, his instincts told him they were not good. The doctor asked Reed to go to the father´s lounge and that everything would be okay and he would see the baby in just a little while.

Reed paced nervously in the lounge. The other fathers noticed how he was exceptionally agitated and tried to calm him down. How did he get here, that infernal question raced through his head. After around a half an hour the doctor came in with bad news. Meredith did not make it. She passed not long after he had left the operating room. All Reed could think of was the moment took her hand out of his and put it back on the bed. That was the last contact he had with her while she was still on this planet alive. The scene of the hands flashed in his mind on replay. He felt like punishing himself with the pain the scene made him feel. Finally, the doctor interrupted him.

He asked if he wanted to hold the baby and Reed said yes. He said down in one of the oversized chairs and the nurse came in with the baby. She place it in his arms. He trembled. For the first time in a long time, the question of how he got there did not bounce off the walls of his inner mind. He saw this being and his mission became clear. He cried like he had never cried in his life.

Reed never took that trip into the jungle. In about a month´s time all doubt was lifted as to who was the biological father. The baby looked just like him. It didn´t matter to Reed though, he already was the baby´s father. Everyday upon waking, Reed spoke with Meredith for five to ten minutes. At first he thought it was a little insane. Now it is as necessary a part of his life as breathing. He has stopped asking for forgiveness and now just tells her how the baby is and tells her of his progress.

Reed no longer asks how he got here. He just knows that he is here and that is all that matters.

 

The Ride

23 May

Scenic Curve

Nate, despite a great fear of speed, always wanted a motorcycle. It was not that he thought it would make him cool, it was that they aesthetically pleased him. He loved the curves of sports bikes, the forward leaning aggressiveness and the color schemes. When a bike would pass on the road, it would captivate his attention and imagination long after it had left his sight.

What kept Nate from fulfilling this desire was fear. He had dreams where he would be on a motorcycle and it would accelerate against his will and ultimately he would lose control and crash. He would always wake up before impact. Nate didn´t even like to ride his bicycle fast.

Nate was in line at a coffee shop when a beautiful woman caught his eye. She was sitting at a table with a helmet in front of her and she was wearing a European racing style motorcycle jacket. Nate was afraid of speed but he was not shy.

He got his cup of coffee and went straight for the table where the woman sat. He walked up with his eyes fixed on the helmet.

“Full face?” he asked.

“Always” she responded.

“Yeah, me too” Nate said.

“You ride?” she asked.

“I´m very new to bikes, but yeah” he lied.

“What kind of bike do you have?” she asked, clearly interested in Nate.

“Yamaha R1” Nate answered. This behavior was very out of character for Nate. He was not a liar In fact, one of his strongest traits was his honesty. He didn´t know why he was doing this. He only knew, he couldn´t stop now.

“Very nice. I love Yamahas. Do you want to sit down?” she asked.

The talked for a while about motorcycles. Although Nate had never even been on one in motion, save for his dreams, he was very knowledgeable due to his intense interest. At least an hour and a half passed when the woman said “Oh, gosh, I didn´t even notice what time it was! I have to go. You want to go riding some day?”

Nate swallowed hard, “Uh, sure”

They exchanged numbers and both were on their way. For the rest of the day, Nate thought about that woman. Ashley was her name. He caught himself mouthing the name to himself a few times that day. Every time he did, his stomach fluttered. What am I going to do?, he thought.

He knew the only thing he could do. Buy a motorcycle, learn how to ride it and ask her out. The next day, Nate went on Craig´s list and as luck would have it, there were a few Yamaha R1’s for sale.

He picked the newest looking one. He arranged a meeting in a Wal-Mart parking lot to see the bike. The owner was willing to teach him how to ride it under the condition the money was exchanged before the makeshift lesson.

When he arrived the seller was already there. The bike was impeccable. Nate handed over the money, in cash and the seller handed over the documents. The deal was done. After an hour or two of coaching, Nate actually felt comfortable on the bike. The seller was extremely patient and only left when he felt sure that Nate could handle the bike. The owner stressed to Nate to take it very easy because this was a powerful machine he was dealing with.

Nate felt so comfortable that he decided to leave his car in the parking lot and ride the bike home. The first thing Nate did when he arrived was call Ashley. He felt relieved when he noticed she was excited to hear him call. They arranged a date to ride the Turnpike down to the beach for lunch. It was only a forty minute ride. Not so daunting for a new rider.

The big day came and Nate was so nervous he woke up way before the alarm. He decided he would make use of this time. He decided to wax his bike. It also calmed his nerves to spend some of his nervous energy. He had be practicing on his bike one hour a day since the plan was set. He felt ready.

He swung by Ashley´s house and they were off. Ashley is not a fast rider and that was good for Nate. As he saw the Turnpike entrance his stomach shuttered. He was still a little uneasy on the highway at high speeds.

About fifteen minutes on the Turnpike, Nate was settling in. He was feeling at ease and finally started to enjoy the ride. He decided to speed up a little and Ashley followed suit. She passed him. Then he passed her. This was fun. All of a sudden, Nate´s bike started accelerating. He took his hand off the throttle. The bike did not respond in kind. The throttle was stuck. It accelerated even more. Ashley was now far behind. She was flashing her high beams. Nate panicked. He was coming up on a big curve. He had never taken such a curve even at low speed, let alone on a bike that was going this fast.

He lost control. The bike slammed into the median. Nate went flying. He bounced upon the asphalt for what seemed like an eternity. Ashley quickly came up upon the scene. She was in horror. The bike was unrecognizable and Nate laid on the ground not moving.

Nate woke up in the hospital. Ashley was there by his side along with his family. He was alive. Thanks to his protective gear he was relatively in good shape. He had a few broken bones. He looked over at Ashley and she looked back at him in a way nobody had ever looked at him before. He was in love, with her and motorcycles. Both would go on to play a big part in his life from that point on.